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Old 03-19-2018, 06:49 PM
 
Location: PVB
2,387 posts, read 1,207,731 times
Reputation: 2765

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I notice a bunch of Realtors coming on here offering all kinds of advice. Real Estate agents are specifically not allowed to "steer" someone to or from an area. This poses a conundrum for folks looking for unbiased opinions on here. For example: I had a fabulous agent who was extremely knowledgeable about building and neighborhoods and was very helpful. But, they told me my floors were solid wood (they are cheap veneer), the kitchen cabinets were not the original ones from 28 years ago (they are), the windows were replaced (they were not) and other issues. And they were the best Realtor by far I had come across in 2 years of house hunting. Some years ago we were looking for a home. We thought the area on the way to the house was sketchy looking and repeatedly asked the Realtor about it and they said it was fine. We wound up buying the home and by a stroke of luck from my guardian angel we looked up a sex offender database and there were over 100 sex offenders in a 3 mile radius. We canceled the sale and fortunately didn't lose anything but time. The house was 3000 sq ft and they said it would cost around 5 k to replace it with tile when a realistic figure would be many times that. The one Realtor we found on here appeared to be nice but turned out not to be.

I realize you are just trying to make a living and this is a great place to find leads. Realtors are not allowed to advertise on here and must disclose in their title that they are agents. People should realize that "normal folks" on here don't have to worry about steering and for the most part give unbiased advice. We are more altruistic and really want to help based on our experience living in an area. Many of the posts by Realtors are very informative but they should not be trying to solicit business. If someone really likes what they say they can send a PM and proceed however they wish. There should not be anything like "if I can be of any help my website is ****" or my phone is ****.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,592 posts, read 55,307,520 times
Reputation: 30150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
I... There should not be anything like "if I can be of any help my website is ****" or my phone is ****.
Of course, there should not be.
Such solicitation is a clear violation of the terms of service.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:13 PM
 
Location: northern va
1,555 posts, read 1,992,571 times
Reputation: 1328
I feel like there's something missing to this thread, or maybe it's just been too long a day and I'm not following
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Athol, Idaho
2,182 posts, read 1,055,031 times
Reputation: 3184
I agree that some agents don't look out for their clients well enough, but if you didn't like the look of an area why on earth did you buy there? Contrary to what some want to believe most real estate agents don't make all that much. If may have looked ok to that agent because for all you know maybe she lives in a neighborhood just like it. It's all relative, what looks ok to one person won't to another. And we don't know where the sex offenders are. It is one of those things that can looked up by anyone at anytime. Why did you wait until after you bought the house if it was important to you?

I also don't think you understand what steering is. It would be not showing you things in an area because you are of a different race than other people there or telling you it is not a good area because people of a certain race or religious affiliation live there and not right for you because of that. Its about discrimination and steering types of people to group them together in neighborhoods. I'ts not steering for an agent to say to you they like the way a neighborhood looks.

Is this story in the OP really true?
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:29 AM
 
Location: PVB
2,387 posts, read 1,207,731 times
Reputation: 2765
Its 100% true. We come from NY and there is no sex offender database like here in Florida which makes it easy to look those things up. We also had no idea there were so many Sex offenders here in Florida. The area we looked in was fine it was the area surrounding it. The agent was a multimillionaire and I doubt lives in a neighborhood like that. When you see a preponderance of pawn shops, bail bondsmen, dollar stores and empty storefronts you might begin to wonder about the neighborhood. Agents should be upfront with clients and tell them there are things I cannot tell you because of the Fair Housing Act and I cannot do anything that could be construed as "steering".

https://www.wra.org/WREM/Sept08/BuyersTakeWheel/
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry NC/Randolph NJ/Cape Coral FL
12,925 posts, read 24,048,548 times
Reputation: 10739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
Its 100% true. We come from NY and there is no sex offender database like here in Florida which makes it easy to look those things up. We also had no idea there were so many Sex offenders here in Florida. The area we looked in was fine it was the area surrounding it. The agent was a multimillionaire and I doubt lives in a neighborhood like that. When you see a preponderance of pawn shops, bail bondsmen, dollar stores and empty storefronts you might begin to wonder about the neighborhood. Agents should be upfront with clients and tell them there are things I cannot tell you because of the Fair Housing Act and I cannot do anything that could be construed as "steering".

https://www.wra.org/WREM/Sept08/BuyersTakeWheel/
Of course agents can not disclose those things, that is your responsibility as a buyer to do your due diligence and check the areas out, both during the day and at night
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:44 AM
 
1,512 posts, read 563,734 times
Reputation: 2944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
Its 100% true. We come from NY and there is no sex offender database like here in Florida which makes it easy to look those things up. We also had no idea there were so many Sex offenders here in Florida. The area we looked in was fine it was the area surrounding it. The agent was a multimillionaire and I doubt lives in a neighborhood like that. When you see a preponderance of pawn shops, bail bondsmen, dollar stores and empty storefronts you might begin to wonder about the neighborhood. Agents should be upfront with clients and tell them there are things I cannot tell you because of the Fair Housing Act and I cannot do anything that could be construed as "steering".

https://www.wra.org/WREM/Sept08/BuyersTakeWheel/
It’s misguided Social jihadi “consumer protection” bull crap that prevents agents from actually telling you the truth.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,827 posts, read 2,047,976 times
Reputation: 10552
Lots going on in this post, but let's first define what steering is... and perhaps what it isn't.

https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Steering

What is steering then? Guiding someone towards or away from a property based on their membership, or not, in a protected class. A good agent should not say to you... "Oh - you don't want to live in that neighborhood... there's more people like you in this neighborhood over here." That is 'steering' the client to what we think is the right neighborhood for them.

What can we do? Well... A good agent can and certainly should tell you to look at neighborhoods with your own eyes and see if you like them. A good agent can and certainly should tell you to contact local police department, and these days, also recommend online resources that are easily available, to check on local crime reports, sex offenders, school district quality and reputation, and whatever other information you want to look up on an area if you are interested.

It is NOT steering to give you an opinion about cheap laminate versus hardwood floors. Not sure where that example fits in.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Athol, Idaho
2,182 posts, read 1,055,031 times
Reputation: 3184
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoamingTX View Post
It’s misguided Social jihadi “consumer protection” bull crap that prevents agents from actually telling you the truth.
It is true that even if a client wants you to steer them you can't. If they want to find a neighborhood based on a it being primarily a protected class they have to find it themselves and tell us they want to live there.

Part of what the OP says is true about some agents. While we do need to make a living I sometimes wish they could weed out the agents that need the next commission in order for their family to eat next week. When they will do anything to make that sale it puts their everyone including own clients at risk.
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Georgia
4,514 posts, read 3,772,562 times
Reputation: 15511
Re: Sex Offenders. I tell EVERY one of my clients on a form they sign that it is recommended to check the surrounding area on the sex offender registry and the crime reporting websites (our area has some very robust ones.) If they live around here, I also tell them to check their own neighborhood on the crime reporting site, because it's amazing how many people live in a "high crime" area and don't even realize it. :-) Because of my proximity to a major mall, there's a very high incidence of theft from auto -- but the thieves seldom, if ever, bother homes a mile away.

I tell ALL of my clients to do this, because I do not want to be accused of steering, i.e., only telling people to check crime reports if they want to look in neighborhoods I know to be "sketchy". Georgia is a "buyer beware" state -- I can give people resources to make themselves an informed buyer, but fair housing laws prohibit me from say, "Oh, no, not there!"

There's still some discussion about steering in the realm of Jewish synagogues and temples. Observant Jews who wish to be able to walk to temple on Saturday often tell me that they want to be "within walking distance of one of these three temples . . ." After finding out how far they are comfortable walking, I adjust my radius around the temples specified and search there. I was told that I was not allowed to do that, because it was "steering". Others feel is that if someone TELLS me this is the place they want to live, it's not steering, I am simply following directives.

I've terminated listing appointments when told by the sellers that I should not allow showings of their home to anyone of a certain race or religion "because the neighbors would hate me," because, even after explaining Fair Housing laws, they don't care. Most experienced agents have learned to say, "I THINK" or "It LOOKS LIKE" or "I DON'T KNOW, but I can find out for you." when asked about certain features of a house -- but also follow it with "That's a good question for the inspector -- they know more about (piping/insulation/roofs/siding/flooring) than I do."

Same with schools. I can provide you with resources on evaluating schools, but I can't tell you "ABC is the BEST elementary" because I'm not a teacher and I don't know your kid. It may be the most highly competitive high school in the state, but maybe your kid doesn't do well in a cut-throat environment. That's for you to evaluate, not me. I'll encourage you to make appointments with the schools and tour them if you have specific concerns.

Last edited by dblackga; 03-20-2018 at 01:04 PM..
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