Re: ‘Rookie Realtor finds disclosure panacea‘ (Aug. 17)

Dear Rookie:

Think about it. A mosque is a place of religious worship. Do we disclose a nearby Baptist church, Catholic church, or Methodist church? No.

The prospective buyer has the right to tour the surrounding area, and come to his/her own personal opinion about the surrounding places of worship, restaurants, schools, and shopping venues.

Wouldn’t disclosure of a nearby mosque be considered “targeted” religious discrimination? If we disclose one particular religious facility, shouldn’t we disclose them all?

Is this issue driven by personal fear and is it even fair to discuss the “issue”? Is it discriminatory? Doesn’t federal law prohibit such disclosure in an effort to remain unbiased toward issues, such as religion, gender, race and sexual preference, in a realty transaction (such as the California agent stated?)

Cassie Davis
Rookie Texas Realtor

Dear Rookie:

Personally, I wouldn’t put the back-door disclosure clause in my contract. I still think it could set you up for a discrimination lawsuit. If you do something different for one person as opposed to another, that is treating them differently, and could be construed as discrimination. If you feel you must do something, make a habit of printing out places of interest nearby. Then you can include places of worship that include all denominations (as opposed to singling one religion/culture out), as well as local libraries, movie theaters, etc…Personalize it, make it something useful that will get you remembered in the right way. Good Luck!

Rebecca Duffy
Realtor/Relocation Specialist
Florida Premiere Realty

Dear Rookie:

I cannot imagine that Realtors would feel the need or desire to disclose a mosque nearby anymore than they would disclose a church of any denomination, a Catholic center, a Jewish synagogue, etc. Fair housing prohibits these being advertised, and disclosure should be the same.

The buyer should be instructed to become knowledgeable about any area by driving around the neighborhood and the vicinity. There can be negatives about any property to one person that wouldn’t be a negative at all to the next buyer.

Susan Graves
F.C. Tucker/OBR, Realtors
Bloomington, Ind.


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