This piece of news highlights the precarious position some agents are in when confronted by the racial bias of buyers, or, as in the story, an undercover tester from the state. There will always be a tension between a desire to placate the client and coyly pretending that a predominantly Martian area is about the same as one with mostly Venetians.
After 12 years in this business I still get uncomfortable when a client states their locale preferences in racial or ethnic terms, or, worse, turn out to be an outright bigot. New York is a very diverse place, so this isn’t altogether rare. I may very well have lost sales because I informed people that race or ethnicity was not a criteria I could help with, but I won’t lose my reputation or livelihood for one sale either. Moreover, the right thing, as a professional in this industry, is to dispense with the notion that color or nationality is a legitimate component in evaluating a place to live.