Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Would you sell a home to these couples? You may not have to soon!

A couple walks into your suburban real estate brokerage and wants to look at homes today.  They have new jobs in your city and need a house near good schools.  They need to move quickly and have a pre-qualification worth gold.  Do you sign them up, put them in your car and go?

Well, if the new Religious Freedom bills circulating though many state legislatures are passed, you won't have to, and Article 10 of our REALTOR CODE OF ETHICS would be greatly affected.

These bills state that anyone with a "Deeply Held Religious Belief" can not be compelled to give services to the public.

For Example:
* If there was a Fireman who had a deeply held religious belief against interracial couples that fireman could refuse to put out their house fire.
* If a hotel clerk had a deeply held religious belief against lesbian couples he would not have to provide a room at the Hilton.
* If a REALTOR had a deeply held religious belief against African-Americans that REALTOR would be allowed to deny them showings.
These bills fly in the face of common decently, the REALTOR Code of Ethics and Equal Housing Laws.

The Texas Legislature already has bills like this ready for next session.  Your state may as well.

I believe that RPAC (and in Texas, TREPAC) needs to send a clear message to our endorsed candidates from BOTH parties that discrimination disguised as Religious Freedom will damage our ability to offer equal services to all.  Political Candidates who play with discrimination as an election issue do not deserve our endorsements.  Discrimination hurts families and property values.  Red lining and segregation are antithetical to the American Dream of home ownership.  Our Code of Ethics holds REALTORS to a higher standard and our endorsed candidates should understand that legalized discrimination will not help them gain our PAC money or our endorsements.

This blog post originally appeared at

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Property Rights are REALTOR Issues. Our Candidates Should Agree

In August 1996 I met Warren.  We would spend 15 years together building a family and life.  Over years we raised two great kids and bought several properties.  We had mostly normal suburban lives with shopping, homework, jobs and family.
Because we lived in Texas, we knew our relationship would not be recognized by the state.  We drew up wills to cover each other in case the worst happened, but we also knew that conservative judges would have to probate those wills.  In 2003 Texas passed the Defense of Marriage Act and in 2005 the State voters passed an amendment that only marriage between a man and woman was recognized and that anything similar was unconstitutional.   The question would then be, were our wills similar to marriage because they transferred property rights upon death?

Warren and I have owned 7 different properties together, but between us there were no legally established property rights.  Fifteen years together meant nothing.

Marriage provides property rights. 
* One spouse owns a house prior to marriage and the other spouse spends one night in the property, they have rights. 
* When one spouse sells a home the other has to sign for that closing as well
* When purchasing a home both spouses can count towards the income and credit rating for the purchase.
* When one spouse dies the other has immediate rights to the property which can not be superseded by other family members.

I am a professional REALTOR.  LGBT Marriage Equality is a property rights issue, and thus, a REALTOR issue.  My relationship with Warren counted.  It was real.

Texas is a red meat state with politicians who get more votes every time they ring the bell of discrimination.  It draws out voters when you tell them others are trying to take something away from them.  But discrimination is wrong.  It is antithetical to the American dream and the Code of Ethics. Discrimination destroys families, communities and property values.  Texas won't change over night, but our PAC can be an important catalyst for protecting the property rights of our LGBT Realtors and neighbors.

I want our PAC to put the issue of Marriage Equality in front of candidates before giving out endorsements.  If they see a 90,000 person PAC ask for their position on the issue, they will understand its importance.  Texas candidates may not agree with the issue but at least they should be asked the question.  LGBT Realtors like myself should no longer be second class members of our associations as our property rights issues get ignored.

This post originally appeared at

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Property Rights for the LGBT Community...these are REALTOR issues

On Friday I had a quick conversation with Mark Lehman of the Texas Association of Realtors concerning LGBT Property Rights as they relate to Marriage.  He was very receptive as were my friends at the Collin County Association of Realtors.  Mark wanted some follow up information so here's what I sent him.


We spoke Friday concerning TREPAC and TAR Endorsements.  You were going to send me a list of LGBT candidates TAR has supported,  I wanted to write you with some further information.  I am a member of the National Association of Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP).  NAGLREP is responsible for getting Article 10 of the Code of Ethics changed to include Sexual Orientation and now Gender Identity. 

I believe that anti-gay marriage legislation and the recent Denial of Service bills floating through the various states are REALTOR issues.  Endorsing homophobic candidates who use LGBT issues to rally their base is not only personally insulting as a member of the Association, it damages our property rights.  

Let's start with Marriage:

Marriage provides property rights. 
* One spouse owns a house prior to marriage and the other spouse spends one night in the property, they have rights. 
* When one spouse sells a home the other has to sign for that closing as well
* When purchasing a home both spouses can count towards the income and credit rating for the purchase
* When one spouse dies the other has immediate rights to the property which can not be superseded by other family members.

I was with my partner 15 years and we had to pay lawyers a couple thousand dollars to create wills, life estates and other documents to simulate marriage, all the time knowing that those documents were only as good as the conservative judge who would review them if they were ever needed.  Judges can throw out these documents because the Defense of Marriage Act  (DOMA) requires that any document that is "similar to marriage" is illegal, only marriage can be considered valid.  On the whole, these document simulate marriage so a judge could through them out and deny my partner rights to our property.

Marriage rights are not debatable.  According to NAR's 2013 Profile Of Home Buyers and Sellers, 66% percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001.  Married people buy homes.    Also they note: "Married couples who purchased a home have the advantage of more buying power and added financial stability—their typical household incomes are higher than single households"

Religious Freedom / Denial of Service Bills:
These bills, on their face, are absolutely discriminatory.  It's a return to Separate But Equal Jim Crow style laws. Any person with a "deeply-held religious belief" could deny service to LGBT people.  Some of the bills include Police, Fire and Emergency personnel.   Imagine an ambulance shows up to an emergency and the EMT decides that due to his religious beliefs he's not going give life-saving services to your family member. 

Kansas has stalled their bill in the senate.
Arizona raced the their bill through both house and Jan Brewer finally vetoed it.
Mississippi has passed their bill through both houses and it's going to their Governor to sign.

I suspect that this type of bill will be introduced in the Texas Legislature when it starts back up this year.  And most likely it will be endorsed and supported by TREPAC Endorsed members. 

This law flies in the face of Article 10 of the Code of Ethics.  We should let our endorsed candidates know that this will damage the reputation of Texas and will hurt property values as LBGT buyers will look elsewhere. 

I look forward to talking with you further when you have time.  I would very much like to help advance these concerns so that LGBT Realtors are better represented by TREPAC and so that property rights or LGBT citizens of Texas are protected like everyone elses.

Bob McCranie,Broker / Owner
Texas Pride Realty
972-754-0582 cell
Information About Brokerage Services -

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Get your KIDS home SAFELY

We all tell our kids that if they're at a party and their friends have been drinking, don't ride with them.

Here's a great suggestion, put the UBER app on their phone.  UBER is a car service that uses the GPS on your phone to schedule rides right away, 24 hours a day.  If you open the app on their phone you can show them how to summon a car to pick them up.  Tie the app to your credit card and your daughter or son won't need cash to get home.

So many kids don't want to call mom or dad and admit they were partying too hard or that their friends are in trouble.  But we want them to get home and be safe.  This is a great way to be sure they get home.

My son's car after a drunk driver hit him in 2010.  He was not drinking.  He is fine, but if the other driver had used UBER or taken another ride he would not have endangered my son.

Here's their website.  There are apps for Android and iPhone.