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From house hunting to financing to appraisal, Black homebuyers and sellers in Greater Cincinnati face barriers

 Erica Parker, left, and her husband, Aaron Parker, right, stand with their daughters between them in this undated family photo.
Courtesy of Erica Parker
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Erica Parker, left, and her husband, Aaron Parker, right, stand with their daughters between them in this undated family photo.

Aaron and Erica Parker were thrilled when they got an offer on their Loveland home last year faster than their real estate agent could list it.

But their delight turned to dismay when an initial appraisal of the home came back $42,500 lower than the agreed upon sales price. The Parkers are Black and began to suspect they were victims of what’s known as “appraisal discrimination.”

Their suspicion grew stronger when a second appraisal came back $92,000 higher after the couple erased all signs of "Blackness" from their home and had their white real estate agent meet the second appraiser.

The federal Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity, or PAVE, released a series of recommendations earlier this month to address the problem of appraisal discrimination.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the issue are homeowners Aaron and Erica Parker, who are both human resources professionals; Brookings Metro Senior Fellow Andre M. Perry; and Weichert Realtors R.E. 1790 Realtor and Sales Vice President Amy Goodman.

And appraisal discrimination isn't the only place in the real estate market where Black Greater Cincinnatians face barriers. A history of discriminatory government policies and market practices, inequity in wages and a pervasive wealth gap — among other challenges — face people of color as they search for that perfect homeownership opportunity.

Black residents of Hamilton County own their homes at roughly half the rate white residents do because of those factors.

But there are ways to address big systemic roadblocks facing Black prospective homebuyers. Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati President and CEO Rick Williams; and Greater Cincinnati Realtist Association President Darrick Dansby join Cincinnati Edition to tell us more.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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