What Your Realtor Can’t Tell You Might Surprise You!

Jan 18, 2022

Fair Housing Laws | Best Home Buying Tips

Fair Housing Laws Prevent Your Realtor From Telling You Some Important Things…Here is What You Need to Know

When you are ready to buy a home, DRJ Real Estate believes that you should be well informed. Being an informed Buyer will help you find the right home and the right deal. You see, it is important to not only understand what you are looking for in a home, but to also know the details that go into buying that home. This includes things like loan rates, closing costs, and inspections.

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Of course, these are items that your team at DRJ Real Estate will help you with. We also offer online Buyer’s Education Courses to help teach you about these things. Additionally, you can always find great buying and selling tips right here on our website too! All of this information will help the home buying process go smoothly, with fewer surprises.

However, there are some things that you need to consider when buying a home that your Realtor is not allowed to disclose. This is due to Fair Housing Laws that were adopted to prevent housing discrimination. These are things that you will need to research on your own. Here are the top-3 items your Realtor can’t tell you. If they are important to you, then you will need to research them on your own.

Fair Housing: Top-3 Things Your Realtor Can’t Tell You

1. Neighborhood Demographics

Naturally, you may wonder what to expect in terms of neighbors when you are looking at a particular area. For example, there are some parts of town that may have a higher percentage of first time home buyers. Alternatively, there are some areas with more retirees, or perhaps with young families. These details might be important to you. Often times, people are interested in living somewhere with other people similar in age or lifestyle.

However, your Realtor is not allowed to discuss any type of area demographics with you. This is because it becomes too easy for Realtor’s to “steer” certain people to certain neighborhoods. Your Realtor should not make any assumptions about your particular preference for neighborhood demographics, nor should they be providing opinions are details about demographics in an area. For example, they can’t say something along the lines of “this is a great area for young families” when describing a particular neighborhood, even if that is a desired attribute for you.

Instead, you will need to do your own research into the area in order to make an informed decision that suits your needs.

2. Schools

This one may be a little surprising, but your Realtor is actually not allowed to disclose information about schools in a particular area. For example, it is unethical and illegal for a Realtor to tell you that “this area is in the best school district around”, or even something truthful and objective, such as “this school district has had test scores decline over the last few years”. If schools are an important consideration for you, then you will need to do the research on your own, looking for the specific details that are most important for you. You should not ask your Realtor to show you homes in “good school districts”.

Instead of providing an opinion, or even objective information about schools which can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, your Realtor should be able to provide you with several independent, third party resources that can give you all the information you are looking for. From there, you can provide your Realtor with specific requests, such as, I would like to see homes in the “such-and-such” school district.

3. Crime

It seems obvious that one of the most important criteria for any new home would be that it is in a “safe” neighborhood. However, Fair Housing laws limit what your Realtor can tell you about crime and safety. That is right, your Realtor can’t give you much information about crime statistics for any particular areas. Again, this is part of the Fair Housing laws that prevent Realtors from “steering” clients to certain neighborhoods.

Again, if you have questions about neighborhood “safety”, you need to focus on the details about what defines a “safe” neighborhood for you. From there, you can research online for the specific information you are looking for. Talk to the local police department perhaps. You may also be able to find specific neighborhood information on social media sites.

How to Work Well with Your Realtor

The best way to be a successful home buyer is to be informed! The more you understand about the home buying process, and about the laws and regulations that govern real estate transactions, the fewer issues you will run into. Understanding how Fair Housing laws affect your Realtor will allow you to be prepared.

The team here at DRJ Real Estate is well versed and experienced in helping buyers and sellers with their real estate transactions. However, when it comes to Fair Housing laws, there are things that you can do to help us, help you! For example, if schools are an important consideration for you, then try to focus on giving us objective information about what you are looking for. For example, if you say that you want to be in a “good” school district, we won’t know exactly what you mean by that. Good can mean high state scores, or great athletics, or maybe a strong arts program. “Good” can mean different things to different people, which is why your Realtor shouldn’t be sharing their own opinions on these subjects. By providing clear and objective information, we will be able to direct you to the resources that can give you the information you need.

Call DRJ Real Estate Today!

When it comes to understanding real estate trends, the DRJ Real Estate team is here for you. We offer online seller’s and buyer’s courses to help you learn all the best home selling tips and buyer’s secrets. Being informed about real estate trends will help you make smart decisions when you buy, sell, or refinance a home.

If you are looking to move into the beautiful Polk County Florida area, or you are looking to sell your house, then CONTACT DRJ REAL ESTATE right now to put us to work for you! We are Polk County’s premier, full service real estate team that specializes in Polk County and Lakeland real estate. 

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