This MLS has gone way too Politically Correct! They cited a Realtor for using the term, "Retirement", calling it "Potentially Offensive". This MLS Committee enforces an unbelievably asinine list of Banned Words that will have you shaking your head in disbelief!
The other day, I was notified by our local MLS that a word I had used in the marketing remarks of a new listing was potentially offensive, and was in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
The word was 'retirement.'
Here's the notice I received:
"Attached, please find a print out of a listing or listings from your office that NWMLS has found to contain one or more potentially offensive references that may violate the Fair Housing Act . The word(s) have been deleted from your listing(s).
The potentially offensive word(s) are noted on the print out for your information. NWMLS searches for the following terms which may, if used in a certain context, be considered in violation. (This list is for example only, to help you understand the types of potentially offensive words your agents should avoid)
Age, Amen, Arab, God, godly, Man, Men, Able bodied, Adult, African, Agile, AIDS ,alcoholic, American, Ancestry, Asian, Bachelor, Black, 'Blind, Board approval, Buddhist, Catholic, Caucasian, Chicana, Chicano, Child, Chinese, Christian, Church, Citizen, Colored, Congregation, Couple, Cripple, Deaf, Disability, Disabled, Drinkers, Elderly, Employed, Empty nesters, English, Ethnic, Exclusive, Executive, Families, Family, Female, Filipino, Foreign, Gay, Gender, Gentleman, Girl, Golden, Grandmas, Guy, Handicap, Healthy, Heterosexual, Hindu, Hispanic, HIV, Homosexual, Hungarian, Immigrant, Impaired, Independent, Indian, Integrated, Interracial, Irish, Italian, Jew, Job, Kid, Lady, Latina, Latino, Lesbian, Male, Marital status, Married, Mature, Membership, Mentally, Mexican, Migrant, Minority, Mormon, Mosque, Muslim, Nationality, Negro, Newlyweds, No children, No play area, Older person, One person, Oriental, Parish, Perfect for two, Physically fit, Polish, Prestigious, Private, Professional, Protestant, Public, assistance, Puerto Rican, Race, Religion, Religious, Restricted, Restriction, Retarded, Retired, Retirees, Saint, Seasonal Worker, Section 8, Senior, Sexual, Shrine, Single, Smoker, Social, Security, Spanish, Straight, Student, Synagogue, Temple, Traditional, Two people. Unemployed, Wheelchair, White, Woman, Women, Working, Young, Youth.
Our MLS still accepts and uses the term 'Family Room.' I'm surprised that hasn't been shot down yet as being highly offensive.
Master Suite is soon to be an extinct term, replaced by 'Owner's Suite.' Unless of course you're a renter/tenant, then you might find it offensive.
Some women have suggested 'Mistress Suite' is a good fall back. His and Hers is most definitely out, substituted by 'dual' or 'theirs and ours.'
It seems as though we're becoming too politically correct for our own good. Before too long, the only descriptive language will be allowed to use for promoting our listings is 'residential dwelling unit available for acquisition.'
A recent article over on Agent Genius expands this topic nicely.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice. For legal advice see an attorney. For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker Tallahassee, Florida