What Your Real Estate Agent Can't Tell You

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"Is this a good neighborhood?"

"What's crime like around here?"

"Are these good schools?"

It can be frustrating, during your home search, when your agent gives vague answers to your questions. There is a perfectly good reason, however. Real estate agents can be fined and/or lose their license for steering you to or away from any given area no matter how subtle or unintentional. When buying a home, the choice in neighborhood or area should be yours, alone.

To prevent discrimination in housing, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 was signed into law. It protects individuals from discrimination based on federally protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Tennessee adds "creed" as an eighth protected class.

One thing to keep in mind is that someone's perception of an area is completely subjective. Yes, I could tell you I think a particular school is "good" or "bad", but what isolated experiences have I had? Do I have first-hand experience at all? The problems someone has with a school could be their own doing. The only thing that isn't subjective are the facts. But, the way you interpret the facts is also subjective. In addition, most agents don't want the liability of telling you a place is "safe" or "good" only to find out you don't agree, after moving in.

You will find that real estate agents will be very careful as to what they commit to with regards to an area. Here are some things that you should avoid asking an agent:

  • What are the best schools in this town?

  • What is the predominant race in this area?

  • Is this a family neighborhood?

  • I'm looking for a town that supports my beliefs, can you point me in the right direction?

  • Are there any foreigners in this city?

Agents must work within the law. We can't, and shouldn't want to, take it upon ourselves to decide where our clients will live. It is up to the individuals purchasing the home to choose the area that fits them best. Drive through prospective areas at different times of the day, talk to someone at the local police station, research school rankings and reviews, and look up crime statistics and offender registries.

We want you to find an amazing area that fits your lifestyle. We'll help you in any way we can, within the law. Once you've decided on an area, we'll help you find a home you'll enjoy!

Contact Us if you’re ready to talk about buying or selling a home!

Tommy Byers