|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|
6. Personal information requested.
The agent asks Prospective Couple #1 to complete a home search questionnaire, then asks them questions regarding their employment, the status of their current home, how much they would like to invest in the home, and what features in a home are most important. The agent shows the prospects several homes and continues to ask questions and take lots of notes.
The agent is tired and closing time is approaching when Prospective Couple #2 visits the real estate office. The agent gives the prospects a listing brochure and does not ask the prospects to complete a home search questionnaire. The prospects take the brochure and leave with very little interaction from the agent.
Would this constitute a fair housing violation? Possibly.
Personal information is important in helping prospects find a home that is just right for their family. In this situation, the agent does not even have contact information to follow-up with the prospect and offer assistance. At the very least, the agent should have been consistent in asking for a home search questionnaire. Consistency is key.
The specific direction of a question could be a concern as well. If an agent is asking questions that could be used to discriminate, such as how many children, ages of the children, church that the family attends, etc. the agent is treading on dangerous ground. Have a specific list of questions to ask that will assist in the selling process. For example, ask open-ended questions and allow the prospects to tell you what is important to their families. Questions such as, “What features in a home are most important to you?” or “Tell me what activities your family enjoys,” will stimulate conversation and help you assist the prospect in searching for the perfect home.
Asking very few questions or no questions at all could also be seen as disinterest in the prospect. Prospects appreciate thoughtful questions, because they realize you are collecting information to determine the right floor plan and features for their new home.