Agent

Don’t discriminate when selling home

Walking tightrope between marketing, fair housing laws

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DEAR BERNICE: My husband and I are Orthodox Jews and live just three blocks from our local temple. We are moving back to New York to care for my elderly parents. When I went over the selling points of our house with our broker, I was shocked. She told me that it was illegal to use the phrase "walk to temple." Our home has a very wonderful kosher kitchen. She said we couldn't reference that either. This seems very unreasonable because these are two of the most important reasons why we bought this home. Is there really such a law? --Susan R. DEAR SUSAN: The "fair housing" laws in this country are very strict. In fact, most states require new and experienced agents to take a fair housing course when they renew or first obtain their license. The laws are designed to prevent discrimination against various groups of people. Here are just a few examples of how strict these laws are: 1. Asking "How many people are in your family?" discriminates a...