Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Missouri

Real Estate Discrimination

My sister recently made an offer to purchase a home. The seller's agent called her agent when the contract was received and commented that the buyer's last name was unusual and asked if the buyer was Jewish. My sister's agent stated that she is. The contract was quickly returned as rejected, with no offer to negotiate. A second contract was submitted, which was also quickly rejected (1 day turnaround on each) and on which was written in bold ''Do not submit any more offers from this buyer''. Both offers were extremely valid and very close to the asking price (within $1000). Did the seller's agent violate any laws when she asked the buyer's agent if the buyer was Jewish?

Asked on 12/04/01, 10:03 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Benny Harding Benny J. Harding, Attorney at Law
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Re: Real Estate Discrimination

It is a violation of Federal and State law to discriminate based on ones religion in a real estate transaction. While most statutes specifically address "fair housing" dealing with rental of property the same principal can apply in the sale of real estate. Furthermore the State regulatory agency dealing with realtors has rules and regulations prohibiting discriminatory conduct. I'm Jewish and I urge you not to let this matter drop.

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12/04/01, 6:28 pm

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