Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Accessibility Confusion

May 13, 2021

When preparing to teach a DC Fair Housing class at my local Real Estate Association, I came across some interesting facts.

Did you know?

Although there are 7 federal fair housing protected classes (race, color, religion, familial status, disability, national origin and sex), according to the National Fair Housing Alliance 58.9% of the Fair Housing Complaints reported in 2019 were for discriminatory behavior against the protected class of disability. In the same year, 83.75% of the violations reported involved the rental market.

Image by Sabine GENET from Pixabay

While working with a client who is dependent on a wheel chair, I noticed that listings matching her search criteria were severely limited. In fact, I noticed that when a unit in a building listed some accessibility features, other units in the same building did not list the same accessibility features.

A quick search of ACTIVE listings in Bright MLS reveals that most properties list NONE in the accessibility features field.

DC – 726/1544 (47%) for sale and 661/1582 (42%) for rent

Montgomery County – 422/931 (45%) for sale and 181/427 (42%) for rent

Prince Georges County – 185/572 (32%) for sale and 65/188 (35%) for rent

Arlington County – 248/454 (55%) for sale and 328/658 (50%) for rent

Fairfax County – 406/1069 (38%) for sale and 324/774 (42%) for rent

Wheelchair ramp Image by Andrzej Rembowski from Pixabay
A wheelchair ramp makes an entrance accessible for everyone.

As you can see, a lot of the listings list very few accessibility features in their listings.

So what are the accessibility features that one COULD list in the MLS?

>84” Garage Door

2+ Access Edits

32”+ Wide Doors

36”+ Wide Halls

48”+ Halls

Accessible Switches/Outlets


Doors – Lever Handle(s)

Doors – Recede

Doors – Swing In


Entry Slope <1’

Flooring Mod

Grab Bars Mod

Hearing Mod

Kitchen Mod

Level Entry – Main

Low Bathroom Mirrors

Low Closet Rods

Low Pile Carpeting

Mobility Improvements

No Stairs



Other Bath Mod

Ramp – Main Level

Roll-in Shower

Roll-Under Vanity

Thresholds <5/8”

Vehicle Transfer Area

Visual Mod

Wheelchair Height Mailbox

Wheelchair Height Shelves

Wheelchair Mod

Seems like a pretty long list – some of which seem rather common.

chair lift Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay

What can you do?

I’m asking all my fellow agents reading this post to take a few extra minutes and add all the accessibility features to your listings. It isn’t that difficult and it can mean the world to a potential buyer or tenant.

Thinking of Buying or Selling?

List with the Hollish Hill Group and we’ll highlight all of the accessibility features in your home. Why not use this list as a property checklist that you can check-off now? If you are buying and have accessibility concerns, let us know and we’ll do the extra research to find you a property that matches your needs.

It’s Your Move. Give Dana a call to Get Started.

« Back