I'm not sure how I feel about this....

rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The wonderful neighbor who lives across the street from us has accepted a new position in Florida and has put her house on the market. I hate that she's leaving as we have become close but am so proud and happy for her.


Anyway, her home was open for appointments all day Saturday and Sunday....and it was non-stop people on both days. My discomfort comes from the observation that on Saturday all of the potential buyers and all of the agents were "people of color" but on Sunday, everyone entering the home was white. There were no exceptions to this routine, my husband and I both noticed it.


This is very much a mixed neighborhood, with University professors, NASA and other high tech professionals so we have people from all over the world. The last thing I would have expected is that the real estate company would segregate the viewings like that!


Is this a normal way of doing business? It is a national company with a good reputation and she ended up with 6 firm offers by the end of the day yesterday.


It just bothered the daylights out of me. What would the purpose be of showing a home in that way?

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eld6161

Yes, it does seem odd. I wonder if some agents work more internationally and have a broader client base? Others work more local? If there was only one agent than it would seem even more strange, but as you said, it is several.

We have a few rentals on my street. In the past few years, they have all been international renters.

I would be interested to see if it happens again next weekend.

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patriceny

As far as I know, real estate agents are subject to the federal fair housing law. I honestly can't imagine any reputable agent or brokerage even trying to coordinate viewings like this.

I'd almost want to say it was just a coincidence, but I understand from what you've shared that it seems extremely odd.

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Elizabeth

Perhaps you did not see every single individual who came and went from that house all weekend.

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OutsidePlaying

I can’t imagine it being done purposely, but if the agents themselves were only all one race one day and another race the next, it does seem odd and done exactly on purpose. Since clients seem to gravitate to an agent of the same race, it would likely follow, but still, why start off with separate agents on different days? I agree it is very odd and inappropriate to do it the way they did IMO and I don’t see the purpose at all.

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sushipup1

Yes, did you sit and watch every single person coming to the house?

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Lindsey_CA

Have you mentioned this to the neighbor?

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nicole___

Very strange. No it's not "normal". The only purpose would be to establish a kindred "family" feeling if the showings overlapped. My agent often overlaps showings to try to get a feeling of urgency.

At least people of color were shown the house. I'm not seeing any rules broken. Coincidence?

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Elmer J Fudd

Whether it is or isn't as you observed, I think it's clearly best to not mention anything and let it drop.

Imagine yourself in your neighbor's shoes if YOUR neighbor came up to you with such a conclusion following two days of having surveilled YOUR open house appointments. I'd be nothing less than horrified and might not ever want to speak to that person again.

We had a remotely similar but different experience with a new neighbor over the last year. Houses are not close together nor particularly visible from one to another but we experienced a few too many "we drove by and saw this and wondered if .....", or "Fred noticed thus and such and we wanted to ask about.....", I finally said "thanks for your interest. We have people and workers come and go from our house as anyone else does, we don't keep a record of them and you don't need to either. If there's anything we need your help with, we'll let you know". A couple of rounds of that got them to back off. They got the message and we don't hear from them anymore, nor do they hear from us. Who wants to deal with people who are so nosy?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I was mostly chair-bound over the weekend due to a wicked summer cold. "My" chair has a full view of my neighbor's driveway and front door so all of the activity across the street was my entertainment.

We have numerous black families in the neighborhood, as well as Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Hispanic, and others. It's a very desirable neighborhood and I'm not surprised that there were so many potential buyers, but this all black or all white thing was disconcerting.

No, I have not told my neighbor. She's black and I think would be horrified. Right now, she's just excited.

I may end up calling this company at some point to see if someone can explain it to me.

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Lucille

I can empathize with your feelings, Rhizo. Could you find another home the company is selling, park down the street with a good novel, and check out what happens?

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Sammy

I wonder if the black people were there on Saturday only because Sunday is church day. This is the South, after all, and most Southern black people, at least that I’ve encountered, are very much into church. And black church isn’t like white church, where you’re in and out in an hour; it’s an all-day affair!

Honestly, I can’t imagine that the showings were intentionally kept separate based on race...but maybe that’s because I would never do that?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sammy!! Really??

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Uptown Gal

Boy, hard to believe this was more than a coincidence. But...I guess you never

know.

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Sammy

In the interest of basic decency, I have removed Elmer’s abhorrent words that used to be here.

I can’t believe THAT comment was made! There’s nothing racist about what I said, and I won’t let you twist my words into something ugly.

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maddielee

“ may end up calling this company at some point to see if someone can explain it to me.”

Really?

If the house is new on the market it is probably being shown by agents who are working with buyers. Sounds like some agents were quicker to schedule viewings then other agents. The listing agent is probably pleased to see all the interest.

There usually is a flutter of activity when a house first hits the market.

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Sammy

Sammy!! Really??

Yes?


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Martha Scott

I think it was a fluke. It just happened and was not intentional.

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amylou321

I am not sure what a call to the company would reveal. Probably nothing. They will tell you that it was a coincidence, and it might well have been.

Just let it go. I am sure all interested parties, no matter their race will have an opportunity to make an offer for the house, and no doubt the highest bidder will get the home,again, regardless of race.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sammy, your comment took me aback because it seemed so stereotypical. It sure doesn't apply to people that I know.

Don't worry, Elmer, my neighbor knows that I'm not "nosey", but stuck in a cosy recliner with tissues and broth. We texted frequently throughout the day as she was amused by my some of my asides. We are very close friends, not strangers.


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joyfulguy

Not a big job cleaning up the seeds, as they don't spit 'em on the floor, but into a side dish, so really easy to collect and dispose of, whether into the recycling or garbage ... or perhaps to take home to plant if the fruit was really tasty.

o j

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morz8

Rhizo, I've been thinking about this for a couple of hours since seeing it and still don't know what to say. I believe you when you say that's what happened but can't begin to think how that was orchestrated. If an interested party called to make an appointment to view the house, how would the question of race be asked in determining to book them for Day A, or Day B? I had dinner last week with a realtor with 30 years experience - he might very well find it interesting.

I'll look for the positive and just say how wonderful for your friend there was that much interest in her new listing. A good sign for her, I'm sure. If you were to do something in the way of a real estate transaction, maybe not use her broker.

I'm sorry about your summer cold, they are just about the worst.

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Sylvia Gordon

Real estate broker chiming in here. Firstly, we are bound by the Fair Housing act. We can lose our licenses for the kind of scheming you're talking about here.

Secondly, how on Earth would anybody engineer all those showings? It would involve getting the buyer's agents to tell the scheduling company or the listing agent the racial or ethnic identity of the potential buyer, which violates fair housing, as well as maneuvering the buyers to see the house on the day that you you chose rather than the day that they are available to look.

Does sound weird, but it really couldn't be anything but happenstance.

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Sylvia Gordon

Real estate broker chiming in here. Firstly, we are bound by the Fair Housing act. We can lose our licenses for the kind of scheming you're talking about here.

Secondly, how on Earth would anybody engineer all those showings? It would involve getting the buyer's agents to tell the scheduling company or the listing agent the racial or ethnic identity of the potential buyer, which violates fair housing, as well as maneuvering the buyers to see the house on the day that you you chose rather than the day that they are available to look.

Does sound weird, but it really couldn't be anything but happenstance.

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maifleur01

My very first job was as an operator for the phone company when you had to call the operator to be connected. Most people have some type of accent. Depending on where Rhizo is located some accents can be stronger than others. It can be as small as an inflection on one letter of a word. While people travel more now so connections have erased many accents the people who speak with very little accent are older that are born in other countries and learned language from watching tv.

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PKponder TX Z7B

I feel that it was a sheer coincidence. I'd really hate to think that it was somehow orchestrated.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments. That goes for you too, Sammy.

Yes, mor, I am so thrilled for this young woman. She is a young single mother with a three year old and a very challenging position at NASA. I thought at first that we could provide a sort of family support if she needed it, since her own family is in a different state.

But she is one independent, self reliant woman, so much fun and so confident of herself and the direction her life is taking.

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Sammy

Let me start by saying that, in the interest of keeping negative racial stereotypes from further dissemination, I’ve edited my previous comment to remove Elmer’s despicable words, which I never should have quoted in the first place; there was nothing good that could have come from repeating them.

Regarding my original comment that was grossly miscomprehended by a few of you, as anyone with a grasp of history and American Southern Black culture knows, the church plays a very large part in the lives of black Americans, particularly those whose ancestors were victims of the North Atlantic Slave Trade. So my thought that perhaps church attendance had something to do with what was witnessed by rhizo wasn't based on some unfounded, uneducated, ignorant stereotype; rather, it was based on empirical evidence. If you don’t know why that is then go look it up, but do not insinuate that I am a racist.

Now, when it comes to my participation in this forum and others, I really try to be gracious, respectful and fair, and I’m painfully cognizant of not only what I say, but how I say it, WHY I say it, and how it might be perceived. And based on the virtual lack of negative feedback I’ve received, I think I’m doing a pretty good job. In fact, my ability to remain objective and impartial, and take comments I read (and hear) at face-value, is something I take great pride in, both here and in my face-to-face interactions, to the point where Elmer, on the rare occasion that you have been unfairly vilified, I have come to your defense. That’s all.

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maifleur01

Sammy apparently some of the commenters have never encountered the more "old style" black and sometimes white church goers that attend churches that have services in the morning then break for lunch then reconvene in the afternoon. Some churches may have potlucks for that lunch or families may leave for a while. There is a reconvening of members either for another service or different ministers from other churches spreading the word, or the altar society/deacons meet. In the summer there may be gospel music in the evenings. I missed your earlier comments or would have backed you up. Someone will make a comment about my lack of knowledge but having lived in the same block as one of these churches for several years. I have always thought that if people would actually talk about not religion as such but customs in various churches much of the misunderstandings in the world would be prevented.

Edited to add that the Southern Baptist Church in my small 100% white town also held all day services so I was used to at least knowing about the all day thing. The other Baptist Church did not. I always thought it was strange to have two of the same type of churches in a small under a thousand town but hearing the "But that is not a Baptist thing" from each church made me realize that just because one church/group does things one way the title does not mean that they are identical in what they do.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sammy, thank you for your respectful and heart felt remarks.

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sleeperblues

Wow, I didn't take Sammy's comments as racist at all. I'm not from the South, but even I have heard of these prolonged worship services.

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Elmer J Fudd

sammy, I'll accept on your say-so that no racial slight was intended. But I do so skeptically.

To assume ANYTHING about ANYONE based upon their appearance is racist stereotyping. Blacks/African Americans? Like other Americans in the modern age, many have drifted away from religion and have no practice or beliefs at all. In the South, many are Muslims. Some are even Jewish. Many are Catholic and may go to Mass on days other than Sunday, or not at all, and if they do they don't need to spend more than a few hours at most. Why were there not more seeing the house on Sunday? Who knows, but the church explanation was preposterous.


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Elmer J Fudd

"some of the commenters have never encountered the more "old style" black and sometimes white church goers "

More stereotyping nonsense.

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nickel_kg

"To assume ANYTHING about ANYONE based upon their appearance is racist stereotyping." By that definition, Elmer, I guess I'd be classified as a racist because I can't help but see people when they are in my sight line, and mostly I assume they are nice people and mostly that's what they prove to be.

As we used to say: Chill out, man :-)

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Elmer J Fudd

I'm as chill and relaxed as I could be.

nickel, if you look at everyone the same positive way no matter what, then there's no stereotyping or "assuming" involved based on appearances. That's a very different attitude from what others expressed, that I questioned.

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nickel_kg

But I'm still assuming based on appearance, therefore racist. Can a blind person be racist by your definition: "To assume ANYTHING about ANYONE based upon their appearance is racist stereotyping."

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Elmer J Fudd

Sure, why not? Sounds and pronunciation habits can reveal things about someone's background in different ways. It's one thing to try to discern factors of a person's identity, another thing entirely to presuppose that identity supports assuming things about them because of stereotypes.

But, of course, you knew that already and your comment was just to provoke me. Sorry to let you down.

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nickel_kg

Okay, let's stop the games. I think we all -- everyone contributing and/or reading this thread -- know enough about stereotypes. Even if our words aren't always 100% clear. No skepticism needed.

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