Realtors have decided to eradicate the term “master” as it applies to the big bedroom, suggesting it could be viewed as having relations to slavery.
In its place, the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) will be implementing the word “primary” as in “primary bath and “primary bedroom.” HAR spoke in a statement: “This topic is currently being debated across the real estate industry, and the national standards organization for MLSs (multiple listing services) will be considering a similar change that could make ‘primary’ the new standard nationally.” The alteration is securing backing with numerous professionals in real estate, with agents beyond the Houston area also pressing for the shift in their jurisdictions.
Real problem: realtors don't show black people all the properties they qualify for. Fake problem: calling the master bedroom the master bedroom. Fix the real problem, realtors. https://t.co/Qq7yQ8Gb3g
— John Legend (@johnlegend) June 27, 2020
Paul Welden, a Phoenix-based realtor, explains that the name may feel restrictive not only to persons of color but to non-binary people and women, as well. Welden said: “I think that the term ‘master bedroom’ or any variation thereof should stop being used. It can be viewed as racist and even gender-biased.” he explains. Welden furthered that, along with “primary bedroom,” expressions like “owner’s bedroom,” “bedroom with ensuite,” and “main bedroom” are being introduced in the real estate community.
Welden confesses there isn’t much proof to support the term’s links to slavery, pointing out that one of the first recorded applications of the phrase came in the 1920s from Sears, as a means of characterizing a bedroom with its own bathroom. However, he supports adjusting the term nevertheless. The controversy over the term “master bedroom” garnered even more publicity recently when vocalist John Legend posted about it on Twitter, spotlighting that color discrimination in real estate may go way beyond the mere phrase.
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