|2||History of Fair Housing|
|3||Fair Housing Exemptions|
|4||Equal Professional Service|
|6||Marketing and Advertising Compliance|
|7||Fair Housing Enforcement|
|8||Fair Housing Case Studies|
|9||Summary/Reduction of Risk|
|Fair Housing for the Real Estate Professional Class|
4. Arranging appointments and making call backs.
Prospect #1 expresses interest in purchasing a home in specific neighborhood, but there is nothing currently for sale in that neighborhood that is suitable. The agent calls Prospect #1 every week with an update on the neighborhood and information on new listings.
Prospect #2 expresses interest in a home, but is waiting for their tax return in order to purchase. The agent sends them a thank you card and then waits to hear from them.
Is this equal professional service? Probably.
The agent is handling the two prospects differently, but their situations are different. The agent needs to be sure that when each prospect is ready to buy, he provides the information and the service to enable the purchase.
5. Qualifying and financing information requested and given.
Prospect #1 finds a home that she loves and asks the agent to explain the purchase process. The agent explains that it is customary to deposit $5,000 in earnest money and sign a purchase contract in order to take a home, in this price range, off the market. The prospect says she will be back in two weeks, because she needs one more paycheck in order to make the purchase.
Later that day, Prospect #2 looks at the same home, falls in love with it and is ready to write a contract. However, he needs to transfer funds between two accounts and asks if he can put a $100 deposit on the property for a few days. The agent wants to be accommodating and feels that if he doesn’t take the home off the market for them, he will lose the prospect. He says he will do it and the prospect promises to bring in the rest of the earnest money by the following weekend.
Has the agent violated fair housing laws? Yes.
Is it fair that one prospect can take the home off the market for $100, and the other needs $5,000? Processes and policies vary greatly between different companies, but they cannot vary between buyers. If the agent makes it easier financially for one person to purchase than another, the agent is risking a fair housing violation and unpleasant consequences for both himself, the Seller of the property, and his company. If the Seller is requiring $5,000 earnest money and a signed purchase agreement to take a home off the market, then the requirement should be applied to everyone consistently.