Texas Realtors Remove 'Master' From Bedroom Descriptions

A Texas realtor association decided to remove the term "master" from descriptions of bedrooms and bathrooms on its listing service.

The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) decided to replace all descriptions using the terms "master bedroom" and "master bathroom" with "primary bedroom" and "primary bathroom" earlier this month on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The change came after several members of the association asked for the terminology to be reviewed, according to Houston TV station KPRC.

"The MLS Advisory Group regularly reviews the terms and fields used in the MLS to make sure they are consistent with the current market environment," the HAR said in a statement sent to is members.

"The updates to primary bedroom and primary bath were among nine requests for review that were submitted by members and considered at the most recent meetings."

The realtors association said that this topic had been brought up in past years.

"It was not a new suggestion to review the terminology. The overarching message was that some members were concerned about how the terms might be perceived by some other agents and consumers. The consensus was that Primary describes the rooms equally as well as Master while avoiding any possible misperceptions."

The statement sent to association members also indicated that the term "master" would not be completely banned from the listing website. "You may still use the term 'master bedroom' or 'master bath' as you feel appropriate in your marketing materials and in the public remarks, agent remarks, and photo descriptions," the HAR said.

Newsweek reached out the Houston Association of Realtors for further comment, but did not a receive a response back in time for publication.

Tiffany Curry, an African-American real estate broker and former board member in the National Association of Realtors (NAR), told the Houston Chronicle Wednesday she supports the change because of the negative connotation from the term "master."

"'Master' represents a stigma and place in time that we need to move forward from. As a progressive, diverse city, Houston should be reflective of its citizenship," Curry said.

Some are not convinced that the term "master bedroom" needs to be banned for the reasons given by Curry. Vince Malta, the president of the NAR, said to the Houston newspaper that he does not believe the reference is problematic.

"NAR sees no reason that real estate professionals cannot use the term, as there is also no evidence that it has any historical connection to slavery or any other kind of discrimination," Malta said.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has also advised the National Association of Realtors that the term is not discriminatory, according to the Chronicle.

'Sale Pending' Sign Outside of Home
A house is seen with a "Sale Pending" sign on it. The Houston Association of Realtors recently decided to remove the term "master" from descriptions of bedrooms and bathrooms on its Multiple Listing Service. David McNew/Getty