The Houston Association of Realtors said it will stop using the term “master” when describing bedrooms or bathrooms via its multiple listing service.
Instead, HAR will update the phrase to say “primary bedroom” and “primary bathroom,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
While HAR will no longer use the nomenclature, it will not attempt to block agents from doing so “through discussions or marketing purposes,” reported the Chronicle.
The terms were updated on its MLS and HAR.com on June 15.
“This topic is currently being debated across the real estate industry, and the national standards organization for MLSs will be considering a similar change that could make ‘primary’ the new standard nationally,” HAR said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors stood by its stance on the terminology.
“NAR sees no reason that real estate professionals cannot use the term, as there is also no evidence that it has any historical connection to slavery or any other kind of discrimination,” NAR President Vince Malta said in a statement.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has reportedly advised NAR that the term “master bedroom” is not discriminatory and does not violate fair housing laws.
Reactions on the debate are mixed.
“ ‘Master’ represents a stigma and place in time that we need to move forward from,” Tiffany Curry, a Houston real estate broker and owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, told the Houston Chronicle. “As a progressive, diverse city, Houston should be reflective of its citizenship.”
In response, musician John Legend said the real problem is “realtors don’t show black people all the properties they qualify for. Fake problem: calling the master bedroom the master bedroom,” and urged Realtors to fix the “real” problem.
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