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Navigating Fair Housing Laws in Real Estate

Navigating Fair Housing Laws in Real Estate

Posted by NAR on 04/01/2024

April is Fair Housing Month—the perfect time to reexamine your practices and protocols, arm yourself with information to ensure you are complying with fair housing laws in your real estate business and focus on ways to help more clients and prospects achieve the American Dream.

Fair Housing Month marks the April 1968 passage of the federal Fair Housing Act. The act, expanded in 1988, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. The  REALTOR® Code of Ethics builds on the federal law and also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

NAR is committed to championing efforts that ensure equal access to homeownership and encourages all REALTORS® to join the fight to end discrimination in housing and stand up for diverse, inclusive communities where everyone can thrive.

To help NAR members follow fair housing laws, adhere to the REALTORS® Code of Ethics, and become advocates for fair housing, the  REALTOR® Store offers a wide array of resources for free or at a discounted price for members, including these key products:

Housing Point: Fair Housing Act Video

This eye-opening video is designed to educate real estate professionals on how to comply with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) rules and regulations regarding the Fair Housing Act. You’ll find clear, concise information, helpful vignettes and risk management tips for a range of common issues you may encounter, including:

  • Emotional support animals and the FHA in housing
  • Familial status discrimination
  • Sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation against those making complaints
  • How to avoid steering claims in the age of big data
  • HUD’s criminal background guidance and disparate impact analysis
  • NAR’s Code of Ethics requirements prohibiting discrimination against protected classes
  • And more!

Fair Housing Bundle: Shared Neighborhoods, Equal Opportunities

This unique combination of eProducts was created by NAR to help REALTORS® learn about fair housing issues, regulations and laws through three information packed products:

  • Fair Housing Handbook

    As one of the most comprehensive fair housing resources available in the industry, this volume is an essential resource for most everyone in the real estate profession. It provides thorough guidance regarding fair housing law, policies and more, for brokers, agents and associations, including:
    • Suggested fair housing office procedures
    • Background on fair housing regulations
    • Samples of the HUD Equal Housing Opportunity poster logo
    • Equal service report forms
    • Information on the NAR/HUD partnership
    • Self-assessment questionnaire
  • Fair Housing Sales: Pocket Guide

    Brokers and agents alike will find value in this convenient, practical guide to fair housing in property sales. It includes examples of commonly asked questions from buyers and sellers regarding housing discrimination, along with appropriate responses and explanations for the answers.
  • Fair Housing Rental: Pocket Guide

    For anyone involved with the management or leasing of real estate, this easy-to-use pocket guide is a must-have. Available as a book (sold in packages of five) or digital download, it addresses a range of issues and topics, including:
    • Fair housing laws
    • Responsibilities of real estate professionals
    • Checklists to ensure proper procedures are followed

Note: the above three products are also available individually.

What Everyone Should Know About Equal Opportunity in Housing Brochure

NAR’s number one seller, this recently updated and redesigned product is invaluable for everyone involved in housing—from your associates and clients to local business leaders and the general public.

Share this resource to keep them informed about the importance of fair housing regulations and the requirements under the law. The brochure outlines the responsibilities of each party to a transaction and includes relevant information about the Fair Housing Act.

Physical version sold in packages of 100, digital version available in Spanish.

The 7 Simple Habits of Inclusive LeadersA guilt-free guide on how to boost innovation and performance by involving others equally

Inclusion is more than a moral obligation; it's a competitive advantage. In this highly readable, useful guide, inclusive leadership expert Melissa Majors reveals how great leaders enjoy superior team performance and drive much higher profitability by incorporating inclusive practices falling into seven categories:

  • Perspectives
  • Hiring Decisions
  • Mindset
  • Leading Self and Others
  • Empathy
  • Collaboration
  • Values and Strategy Design.

Majors is an innovator and optimizer of inclusion, leadership and education strategies.

She delivers clarity on how our "Neanderthal'ish" brains are to blame for why leaders unintentionally exclude others. Through storytelling, research and personal experiences, she offers a common-sense, yet compelling and actionable, approach to inclusion, arguing that people shouldn't feel guilty or defensive when having inclusion-related conversations; the brain is to blame, not people.

Cross Cultural Selling for Dummies

This practical, easy-to-understand guide will help you tap into multicultural markets—from establishing solid relationships to adapting your advertising to meeting the needs of your new clientele. You’ll acquire key cross-cultural skills and build a coordinated effort that engages multiple aspects of your business.

Among other important topics, this book will help you:

  • Reach out to multicultural customers and develop strong relationships
  • Adapt your sales presentations and techniques
  • Clear language barriers
  • Present appealing financing options
  • Adopt techniques to close the sale
  • Create a strong referral base
  • Avoid cultural conflicts
  • Maintain a diverse sales team

Michael Soon Lee, DBA, CRS, GRI, has been a real estate broker for over thirty years and has helped tens of thousands of agents develop an abundant stream of new clients, become an effective negotiator and defend their commissions. Dr. Lee is the author of eight books and hundreds of real estate articles.

Fair housing isn’t just the law, it’s the right thing to do—and it’s good for business. Visit the  REALTOR® Store to find the resources you need to build your awareness, stay compliant with the Fair Housing Act and help expand homeownership in your community.

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