Not all homes have accessibility options for disabled buyers, but some tweaks could help. Of all HUD’s discrimination complaints, 60% are related to disabilities.
WASHINGTON – Prospective homebuyers’ needs may be impacted by their physical limitations or those of family members. To make open houses more inclusive to consumers with disabilities, real estate professionals should understand their must-have needs.
For a wheelchair user, these may include hardwood floors, lower light switches, and wider door frames and hallways. A visually impaired person would need to avoid shadowy areas caused by inadequate lighting.
Agents should go through properties and think about how they can make listing appointments and open houses more accessible.
Beyond a home’s interior, common concerns include sufficient room for parking nearby and the availability of public transportation for individuals who cannot drive.
Agents should also consider a safe space, including restroom access, in case someone needs to be alone during the event.
Temporary modifications or accommodations agents can make include adding a ramp, recording an audio description of each room, and avoiding strong scents or loud music. Another option is conducting virtual tours. In addition, agents should provide a comment box and request visitors’ feedback.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 60% of its housing discrimination complaints are related to disabled access.
Source: Inman (10/31/22) Deering, Amanda
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