Lawrence and Melinda Bivens purchased a 78 year-old six-unit apartment building five years ago. The Bivens are considering selling their investment property. They do not live in the six-unit building because, as Melinda says. “We can’t stand those people.”
George, a local broker, is asked to prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for the Bivens. The Bivens explain to George that a broker named Harriet is their property manager. George meets with the Bivens and presents his CMA, along with a complete explanation of all of the many services George offers.
Melinda says, “This is all very well and good, but we want to make sure the right person buys our building.” George questions her statement: “By right person, I assume you mean someone who is qualified to obtain a mortgage and provide a down payment?”
Melinda just says “Whatever. We just don’t want ‘those people’ taking over this building.” George continues his presentation and ultimately obtains a six-month listing at a competitive price. George calls the property manager the next week. Harriet says that the Bivens have given her explicit instructions not to show apartments to foreigners because such people offend the Bivens.
This statement concerns George, who asks “You mean you actually don’t show apartments to foreigners?” Harriet replies “Well it’s not as bad as it sounds. Everyone knows foreigners don’t work as hard and don’t make as much money. They wouldn’t qualify for one of our apartments anyway.”
George continues questioning Harriet and finds out that she also does not give prospective tenants the HUD-mandated lead-based paint pamphlet because “it’s not that big a deal as long as they don’t have children.”