LGBTQ Real Estate Pros Increase LGBTQ Home Buyer & Seller Confidence
Many potential homebuyers are often surprised to find their pursuit of residential property turning into a competitive activity. Often buyers are seeing a limited inventory of homes for sale in their price range and preference. In such circumstances, bidding wars are not uncommon – and for the buyer, it is crucial having a realtor who can identify a desired property and work quickly to secure it before other buyers try to stake a claim.
For LGBTQ home buyers, there is the added concern of dealing with either potential neighbors who may not be welcoming of their presence, or professionals who may not be welcoming of their business. A recent nationwide survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education polled 1,050 adults who self-identified within the LGTBQ spectrum. The survey found nearly one in three (30%) respondents reporting to have experienced bias, discrimination or exclusion by or from organizations or individuals within the financial services sector, with approximately two in five (36%) believing they were blocked or discouraged from engaging with products and services due to barriers or discrimination in how financial services are designed, marketed or offered (e.g., fee structure, application/approval requirements, etc.).
Furthermore, the survey found between 12% to 17% of respondents reporting they experienced “bias, discrimination or an inequitable experience” in regards to housing (16%), credit (15%), lending (12%) and banking (12%). In terms of experiencing bias and discrimination, the rate was considerably higher for transgender respondents (57%) than LGBTQ cisgender men (23%) and women (26%).
This is frustrating, especially when one considers that LGBTQ real estate represents an extraordinary opportunity for the housing market. Another survey, this time by LGBTQrealestatepros.com survey found about 72% of surveyed LGBTQ renters said they wanted to own a home. While the 49% LGBTQ homeownership rate is below the 66% national average, it is slightly above the 45.2% for Black Americans and 48.7% for Hispanic Americans – and those two demographics are frequently cited by housing and mortgage industry leaders who are eager to expand homeownership opportunities.
And this where a LGBTQ real estate broker can help. By working with a gay realtor or a lesbian realtor, the potential LGBTQ homebuyer has an ally who is cognizant of both the distinctive needs of their client and the wider environment where they are looking to acquire a residence. These professionals can provide honest information on the issues that concern these buyers, ranging from neighborhood safety, a LGBTQrealestatepros.com survey found 95% of LGBTQ homeowners said the absence of harassment and violence against their community was the most important factor in moving to a new area, to being in a school district where LGBTQ children would experience discrimination.
And circling back to the earlier concerns in the National Endowment for Financial Education survey, a gay real estate agent and a lesbian real estate agent would be able to connect their LGBTQ clients with stakeholders in the homebuying process – appraisers, attorneys, lenders, etc. – who would not create discomfort or worse. This is especially important for many potential homebuyers who are coming into an area for the first time and do not have any connections – the LGBTQrealestatepros.com survey found that only 32% of LGBTQ people live in the same general location as where they went to high school, compared to the 72% national average.
Of course, being a gay realtor or a lesbian realtor does not exclusive focus on helping LGBTQ buyers – straight buyers who are eager to be part of a welcoming and life-affirming community can benefit from their holistic approach to the real estate environment. And LGBTQrealestatepros.com is a nationwide community that supports its members via an active referral program to encourage new business leads from one market to another.
Homebuying can be stressful, but having an LGBTQ real estate agent can help make it a more focused and pleasant experience.