A reader sends along this article, supposedly by a real estate professional, about the sales terms that you should no longer use to promote a house on the market. I can’t tell if this story is deadpan satire, an earnest attempt to adapt to our wokerati, or a prophecy about the future. You decide:
Some of my clients’ multiple listing services flag questionable words and phrases, while others do not. Some of my clients take my fair housing-related recommendations with good grace, while others do not.
Let me be clear — there may be hair-splitting among different associations and different MLSs about the specifics of certain terms and descriptors. The goal, however, is less about rigid adherence to a set of rules and more about making everyone feel comfortable and seen. This can be difficult if you don’t confront your unconscious biases or if you don’t admit that discriminatory language is a problem in the first place. . .
You already know that you shouldn’t be talking about schools, but this phrase still pops up frequently. If you wish to talk about proximity to local schools, you can do so by including the distance to area schools, but you shouldn’t be making any assertions or assumptions about the schools in the neighborhood and their quality. . .
Similarly, making assertions about the neighbors can be misleading and inaccurate. When it comes down to it, you don’t know what the neighbors are really like or how they’re likely to greet a newcomer to the neighborhood.
For those who are older or who are struggling with limited mobility, walking distance may be a misleading or problematic assertion. It’s much easier to provide fractional mileage by using Google Maps. For example, “This charming neighborhood is conveniently located near Trader Joe’s (0.2 mi), Whole Foods (0.4 mi) and Glenmuir Park (0.6 mi).” . . .
This is a phrase that should be avoided on a number of counts, not least of which is the assumption that the owner of the home is or should be a man. In place of this, consider owner’s suite/bedroom/bathroom or primary suite/bedroom/bathroom. . .
Phrases related to race, gender identity, sexuality, nationality, cultural identity
It should go without saying but any word or phrase related to any of these items should be left out of your property descriptions.
A single point of view is not the only one that matters. By making property descriptions more appealing to a wider variety of potential buyers, you create the circumstances for housing to be truly fair and for the homebuying experience to be more enjoyable and more meaningful for everyone.
There’s much more in this vein in the complete article. As I say, I can’t tell if this is for real or not. The author, Christy Murdoch, may be a subtle genius. I say that because of this one sentence in the last item here: “A single point of view is not the only one that matters.” But a “single point of view” is the core of wokeness. What a brilliant way of sending it up.
Or it could be she really means it.