Assisting First-Time LGBTQ+ Homebuyers

My real estate career spans over 30+ years, currently as the Senior Leadership Instructor for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. During my multiple decades in this business, I’ve been a top producer in the Hall of Fame for selling and have coached and trained thousands of real estate professionals across several brands. 

I also owned a real estate franchise, where before we opened our first office I was out as a gay woman and activist in my local community, therefore most of my clientele were LGBTQ+. This vast experience provided me with a unique perspective when it comes to the importance of homeownership within our LGBTQ+ community, what the obstacles, hurdles and/or possible challenges we may face. 

I wanted to address what the significance of Pride Month is to me. I begin with the obvious, it’s a time when we recognize the heroes who stood up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in the late 60’s and beyond. We honor those who have lost their lives as the result of HIV/AIDS, hate crimes and other LGBTQ+ related tragedies. And it’s also a time to celebrate who we are, our diversity, how far we have come, how far we must go, and acknowledge the importance of equality, equity, acceptance, and to salute our Allies who have also championed the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Pride Month also brings increased exposure for the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, which I am honored to be part of the leadership team and will be the 2026 President. Along with participating in so many Pride Month industry events to help educate and engage so many inside the real estate industry, June is also a great time to engage with those in our community who might be interested in buying or selling a home. We love seeing so many brokerages, agents and teams around the nation who have, or will have, booths at Pride events.  And I was honored recently to host the Alliance’s fourth annual LGBTQ+ First-Time Buyers Seminar.

This outreach is so important.

Outside of the unknown that all face, there are so many unique thoughts and concerns that an LGBTQ+ buyer may face during the process. These include:

  • Safety and security: Will you be safe and welcomed in the community and neighborhood you are interested in? Will our children be welcomed in school and be able to thrive like any other? What if we have kids?
  • Discrimination: Even though there is an Executive Order that protects the LGBTQ+ community from housing discrimination, there are still 29 states that offer no such protection. Therefore, buyers will be nervous about getting the best agent council, equal access to available homes and the best loan terms, etc. 

Our Alliance members have insight into housing discrimination against LGBTQ+ people as 27.1% report that it increased over the last three years. At the same time, the Center for American Progress shared that 29% of LGBTQ+ people reported experiencing some kind of housing discrimination or harassment in a housing setting this past year.

You can understand why our LGBTQ+ First-Time Homebuyer seminar—which is posted on our consumer website—has become one of the top places for LGBTQ+ people to learn about market conditions, gain insight into the buying process and gain confidence as we help them navigate the concerns specific to the LGBTQ+ community.  The seminar and the website provide the LGBTQ+ community with a way to connect with LGBTQ+ and Ally real estate professionals who understand their needs and concerns on a case-by-case basis.

The Alliance wants you to join us and learn about how best to support and serve and LGBTQ+ clients.  There is a business benefit to joining us. The number of LGBTQ+ people is growing as society is allowing so many more to feel safer to express themselves, and to share who they are with others. This is one of the major reasons why Gallup now reports that 7.6% of all U.S. adults are LGBTQ+, more than double the 3.5% who self-identified in 2012. The increase is led by dramatically higher numbers of Gen Zer’s (22.9%) and Millennials (9.8%). These are our current and future buyers. We must be there for them!

But at the same time, our community is under attack right now. Imagine how I felt yesterday when I visited a major retailer in St. Louis County, Missouri. expecting to see a Pride Display. Yet there wasn’t one. Their app showed Pride merchandise, just none here.  I walked all around that store, looking for something, anything that would indicate Pride…nothing. Of course, I wouldn’t give up, so I drove to another location in St. Louis County, where there was a large and proud Pride Month display. I realized at that moment this wasn’t about the merch, as much as it was about feeling seen, acknowledged, included, and not being pushed back into the closet. 

We can’t be like that in our industry. We must be here for all! It is a reason why I love our Industry. We are guided by a Code of Ethics, a reminder of our commitment to serve all people from all communities, at all times and to “create a world free of housing discrimination.”  LGBTQ+ people too! Happy Pride!

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