How Would you Answer This Question?

By
Real Estate Agent with McGraw Realtors

I was doing some research for a new listing this morning when I came across the following question.  It was posted on www.city-data.com

"My family and I are relocating to the Tulsa area soon. We are searching for a home to buy in (names of communities). What neighborhoods do I need to avoid moving into in any of these places?"

 

How would you answer that question?
Think about it for a second...
Got your answer???

 

I counted at least four people who answered the question, including one appraiser.  If you are a Realtor and you chose to answer that question, you would be in violation of the Fair Housing Laws.  This person apparently had a pretty sharp Realtor.  Here's what they said about what their Realtor told them...

 

"My Realtor keeps telling me that they legally
can not disclose or persuade clients in any direction..."

 

Fair Housing Laws by Bob Haywood

The Fair Housing Laws in our country were designed
to give everybody a fair chance by prohibiting discrimination.

Did you know that Fair Housing Laws were developed
as a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968?  Fair Housing Laws prohibit discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status.

For more information on the Fair Housing Law, click here.

The primary purpose of the Fair Housing Law is to protect buyers or renters from seller or landlord discrimination.

 



What this means for those of us who are Realtors is that we cannot discuss, talk about, point out or direct people to good or bad neighborhoods. 
We have to stay neutral when clients want to know if neighborhoods are good or bad.  The reality is that this can be difficult because your client can feel as if you are protecting your own interests instead of working for them.  But a clear explanation of how you would be violating the Fair Housing law usually satisfies most people.

So the next time you come across someone online asking about good and bad neighborhoods, or if you have a client who asks, just take a pass.  It's better not to answer than to lose your license!

************************************************************************************

Information and content in this blog is original to Bob Haywood

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Contact:
Bob Haywood
Bob Haywood 

Tulsa, OK Realtor®/ McGraw Realtors 
Bob@BobHaywood.com
(918) 272-7272

Click here to check out my Greater Tulsa and Owasso website.  The premier greater Tulsa and Owasso, OK homes local informational website for your real estate needs.

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Serving the Greater Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Glenpool, Bixby, Owasso, Sand Springs, Oologah, Coweta area communities and other surrounding areas.

Copyright © 2010 by Bob Haywood

 

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Staff
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Bob Stewart
Community Evangelist
ActiveRain

oops, that last one was me, I was logged in helping Robin get her photo updated:

If someone asks you for crime stats for a neighborhood, where in the Fair Housing guidelines does it say you have to send them to a local police station?

I can't seem to find anything in the fair housing guidelines that says criminals are a protected class.....

February 02, 2010 02:48 PM
Rainer
80,126
Amy Law
Alliance Properties

Well, I had a bit of the opposite problem...a white woman buyer that wants to buy a lot to build on in a very old black community. Those folk HATE it when "whitey" moves in there...it really might be a dangerous situation for my buyer. I DID NOTHAVE NOT said a word. I REALLY wanted to...her friend that was with her pointed out about how bad the neighborhood is and really tried to talk her out of it. She is going ahead with the purchase anyway. I really wish she would not...but I really can not and should not say one word because of this rule. The problem runs in all different directions.

February 02, 2010 05:01 PM
Rainer
80,126
Amy Law
Alliance Properties

Well, I had a bit of the opposite problem...a white woman buyer that wants to buy a lot to build on in a very old black community. Those folk HATE it when "whitey" moves in there...it really might be a dangerous situation for my buyer. I DID NOTHAVE NOT said a word. I REALLY wanted to...her friend that was with her pointed out about how bad the neighborhood is and really tried to talk her out of it. She is going ahead with the purchase anyway. I really wish she would not...but I really can not and should not say one word because of this rule. The problem runs in all different directions.

February 02, 2010 05:01 PM
Ambassador
960,442
Alan May
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate
Coldwell Banker Residential

Bob, as I mentioned before... if someone asks for crime stats, you are allowed to direct them to where they can find them.  You COULD just print them out for them... but it's better if you allow them to find them.

Criminals are not a protected class (although it sometimes feels that way), but it's not about protecting the criminals...  you can certainly send them to a website that shows if any sex offenders live in the neighbourhood... but the key is.. "answer questions"... don't suggest that if they're going to look in the Statesville neighbourhood, they might want to check the sexoffender hotline first.

It's not about protecting the criminals.. it's about being neutral about neighbourhoods... and it's better to err on the side of caution, and allow the buyer to do their own due diligence.

February 02, 2010 06:30 PM
Rainmaker
261,805
Melissa Brown
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale
Savvy + Co Real Estate

Ooooh...I'm not too comfortable with the conversation above in #84.  I don't care which direction the problem runs in.

February 02, 2010 07:24 PM
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