When Realtor Roger Johnson of Hickory N.C. Real Estate got a call from a prospective client in 2010, he was shocked to hear her say that other real estate agents turned her down because of her sexual orientation.
Johnson blogged about it at the time: “So, she begins by saying, ‘I’ve got a fiancee.’
“ ‘Okay’, I said.
“ ‘And my fiancee is a woman.’
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“ ‘Okay,’ I said. So she continues with ‘Is that going to be a problem for you?’ ”
“She just wanted to be sure before she continued because two other REALTORS® had already hung up on her when they realized that she was gay.
“REALLY? Okay, I’ve got some questions for you, Ms. Buyer. Do you have a job? Have you, or can you get preapproved for a loan? Do you intend to buy? Yes, Yes and Yes. I don’t have a problem, then.”
Johnson said he helped the woman and her fiancee find a house. When they decided to leave North Carolina, he said, he helped them sell that house. Since then, he has heard from other LGBTQ clients that agents turned them down, or stopped returning phone calls, when they learned they were a same-sex couple.
“It’s kind of a joke,” Johnson said, “that I’m the non-gay gay Realtor in this area.”