The Fair Housing Act Realtors Buyers and Sellers What You Should Know

Real Estate Agent with Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL

The Fair Housing Act Realtors Buyers and Sellers What You Should Know

 To aid with your home search visit my website for all Madison, Huntsville and Northern Alabama Homes for sale.

"There's no place like home," and  The Fair Housing Act Realtors Buyers and Sellers What You Should Know takes on new meaning when buying your home for the first time. A seemingly endless process of things to do and sign in preparation for move-in day and, of course, the accompanied potential snags that rest at every corner as you approach home ownership. Should you run into trouble that seems difficult to resolve when buying your home, you may find yourself wondering about the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA).

The goal of NFHA is to "eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for all people" through raising The Fair Housing Act Realtors Buyers and Sellers What You Should Knowquestions and pursuing legal remedy when needed. Passed originally in 1968, the Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, family situation or national origin.

Also, keep in mind the next time you ask your Realtor about "how safe a neighborhood is" or who lives there and your Realtor sounds a little vague, non-commital or points you toward the internet to search for those answers...the Fair Housing Act also prohibits real estate professionals from advertising and advising on specific demographics, such as school boundaries or crime rates. However, as the potential buyer of your home, you still need access to that information. The following resources may assist you in finding the statistics you seek without violating fair housing laws when search for your home.

Need Info on Your Community? Click here.

Want to Search Your Area for Sex Offenders? Click here to search by name or location.

Seeking School Information? Find maps defining boundaries for your community on school district websites.

Desire Specific Crime Rates? Contact your local Police Station for maps and recent block activity.

You can also search the internet to find more detailed information on  churches, social groups, cultural ties of specific communities. Keep in mind that the information you find when researching your home can play a huge role in your overall home satisfaction, so is a critical step to consider, especially since your real estate professional is unable to share those details with you.

Don't forget this Madison and Huntsville Alabama homes for sale link to search available homes.

Nick T Pappas  


If you need a knowledgeable real estate professional in Madison or Huntsville Alabama area, why don't you let me Google that for you! I also know outstanding agents in all states and Canada should you need help relocating to a new area.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gabe Sanders 07/12/2013 08:13 AM
  2. Carla Freund 07/20/2013 03:38 AM
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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Congratulations on the Feature, Nick!  This blog presents important information to buyers and sellers of real estate about the Fair Housing Act.  It also acts as reminder to real estate professionals about their behavior in that regard.  I think for the most part most agents do a pretty good job abiding by the act.

Jul 10, 2013 08:05 AM #13
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I should also add that while considering information about the location of sex-offenders, they can move in and move out.  Therefore, a home you consider buying that has one living a few doors down, can have that change in the future.  The opposite is also true. . .They can move in, where they weren't before. 

Jul 10, 2013 08:09 AM #14
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Nick:  Great explanation of the hesitancy must sense when they ask these sensitive questions.  Love that you included live links, so they can seek the answers they need!  Congrats on another great Feature!


Jul 10, 2013 08:13 AM #15
Maggie O'Connell
Reno, NV
Reverse Mortgage Purchase Specialist

It's a hot button topic in the lending field too.  We all have to think in a fair way and have it be part of our nature.

Jul 10, 2013 08:44 AM #16
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Customers do ask about whether it is a "good"  or a "safe" neighborhood. When I am asked one of those non-answerable questions, I usually just tell them that is a question that I cannot answer, due to legal restraints. Then, of course, I refer them to various websites. I have a standard response when asked about demographics: "You will have to draw your own conclusions about the neighborhood. Drive by at different times of the day to get a feel for the neighborhood. If it is crime statistics you are interested in, those are available online..."

Jul 10, 2013 10:11 AM #17
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Nick - I just took my 22.5 hours of continuing ed on the internet..including Fair Housing  sooooo boring... but necessary.. and that is why we must take it... always ! It is always fine to offer web sitse.. but NOT be the source.. only the resource..

Jul 10, 2013 10:35 AM #18
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Nick, it happens with almost every buyer wanting to now about neighborhoods, and the dance we do to stay out of a possible violation of ethics. Well done post

Jul 10, 2013 11:44 AM #19
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


Don't be the source of the data, but rather direct clients to the correct source.


Jul 10, 2013 12:11 PM #20
Jim Lee
RE/MAX Shoreline - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH

Be the source of the source of information; never the source itself.

Jul 10, 2013 12:15 PM #21
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Nick,  Great post for the public on what we can and cannot answer.

Jul 10, 2013 12:17 PM #22
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Great information Nick, this is not only for Realtors but for buyers and sellers as well.

Jul 10, 2013 12:59 PM #23
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Refer them to the Police or Sheriff for crime statistics, send them to the School Board for school information, send them to the Chamber of Commerce or City Hall for other demographics.

Jul 10, 2013 01:13 PM #24
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!

The over-the-top PC lunacy that this has morphed into has ruined the actual intent of the law.  The original intent of the law was good.  It was intended to prevent discrimination in housing.  It now prohibits Realtors from fully doing their job by limiting our ability to fully answer our clients questions and to work in their best interest.  For a while, they kept coming out with lists of things that we can no longer say for fear of hurting someone's feelings.  Getting your feelings hurt with the truth is never a bad thing.  But, alas, to remain in full compliance with the law and to keep bureaucrats employed, we all have to know the intricacies of the law on any particular day so as not to accidentally step on the new, wrong side of the changing law.

Jul 10, 2013 02:16 PM #25
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I don't think that most buyers and sellers have any clue about Fair Housing and the laws regarding discrimination, nor how this impacts our role. We clearly need to be able to provide resources for the information that they often want, and avoiud getting into an advisory capacity that could land us in hot water.


Jul 10, 2013 03:04 PM #26
Paddy Deighan JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

when I first took teh realtor exam, I was advised tghat I had one question was a Fair Housing Question!! So I took note of your blog

Jul 10, 2013 05:20 PM #27
John F Muscarella
Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast

Good post and great info for all.  Thanks for this.

Jul 10, 2013 08:45 PM #28
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Glad I read your post. I had no idea that discussing school zoning was a fair housing violation.

Jul 10, 2013 11:12 PM #29
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Thank you so very much for your comments.  I have to agree with Roger#25 on many levels.  The original intent was a good thing, but unfortunately there are so many individuals that will sue at the drop of a hat that some of these laws are necessary.  We are protecting ourselves in the real estate industry at a cost to our clients.  

I've also learned through some fair housing classes and attorneys that language such as; "master bath/bedroom", "his  & hers" closets, etc., are soon to be on the chopping do you like them apples fruits things to eat??  

Jul 11, 2013 12:16 AM #30
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Nick - Many consumers don't understand that Realtors can't discuss so many things that they want to know about when buying a home.

Jul 13, 2013 04:47 PM #31
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Nick - Great post. Sorry I missed it the first time. I'm going to reblog to get the info out there and locally. 

Jul 20, 2013 03:13 AM #32
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Nick T Pappas

Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource
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