Two Sides of Ignorance

Derek came home from an afternoon showing homes to his very first buyer client, as a Realtor in Colorado Springs (we’ll call her Ms. Q and sits at the computer in obvious bewilderment. He logged onto the local MLS and then paused for a few minutes.

“Honey. What’s up? How did your day go?” I was excited about his first time out showing homes, as well as interested in why he was so bewildered.
“Well, it went ok. But I need to narrow down her search to homes on streets with no mature trees and a lot of street lamps.”
“Huh?” I now joined him in his bewilderment. There are not searchable fields for either of those requests. How were we going to search for homes in Colorado Springs with those guidelines?

This was going to be interesting.

We decided to pull up all homes in Colorado Springs that fit her previous requests and then we spent the better part of 2 days driving around each street in each neighborhood making notes about the trees, foliage and street lamp placement. We found some great, well-lit homes. Man! Ms. Q was going to be proud when they met up the next weekend!

Well, the next weekend arrived, and after several hours of showing homes, Derek came home quite irritated. What was wrong? How could she NOT like any of the homes that Derek picked out! They were perfect! Derek then called his managing broker. Maybe he could help him figure this out.

After a few seconds on the phone, Derek’s face fell. He got off the phone and let me know what the “problem” was.

Let’s just say that we learned the hard way what “I don’t want to live in a dark neighborhood” means. Yeah, Ms. Q didn’t care about trees and street lamps.

Derek got on the phone immediately and called her. First, he let her know that he had no idea that her requests were discriminatory in nature. He told her that it made no sense and that he did not understand why she would think in those terms. Second, he educated her on how there is NO WAY that he can or would ever narrow down a home search based on discrimination. Finally, he said that she can either a.) Find a new agent to represent her, or b.) Narrow down the search herself. He would have no part in a discrimination-based home search. After a brief silence and a short good-bye, Derek hung up the phone.

We waited a couple days, not knowing what Ms. Q was going to decide on. Those were a tough couple of days, as Ms. Q was Derek’s first client … ever. And, we never thought that we would actually have to deal with the discrimination that we learned about in real estate school. Well, she called back, and for reasons that we will never really know she decided to buy one of the homes that Derek had shown her originally.

We do not make decisions based on discrimination and I guess it never occurred to us that others still do. It is a sad thing. Our ignorance of the presence of existing discrimination clashed with her ignorance of the absence of discrimination.

… At least we now know where all the well-lit streets in Colorado Springs are.
Posted By: Springs Realty Scoop – Colorado Springs Real Estate


About Mariana

I am a Mom, Wife, Real Estate Agent Trainer and Mortgage Lender. Find me at
This entry was posted in Colorado Springs Info., Colorado Springs Real Estate, Real Estate Consumer Info., Real Estate Law, Real Estate Stories, Realtor® Code of Ethics. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Two Sides of Ignorance

  1. Beth Larsen says:

    Marianna, thanks for a great article, for “shining a light” where it needs to be shone, and for doing it with humor. As appalling as the kind of attitude this story reveals IS, your treatment of does provide some comic relief. Laughter=the best medicine, again.

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