Realtors Must Be Cautious in Answering Some Questions

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. BK629999

A REALTOR can be a wealth of knowledge to a prospective buyer. 

Fair Housing LawsREALTORS build relationships with customers and often buyers feel that they can talk to them about anything.

Due to various laws there are many questions that REALTORS cannot answer.

For example REALTORS cannot comment on-

- demographic statistics, such as the cultural make up of a neighborhood.

- sex offenders in a neighborhood.

- crime statistics in a neighborhood.

REALTORS are forbidden from steering a buyer to or away from a specific area.

In our area of Brevard County Florida we had seen such a population boom that our school districts and Fair Housing Lawsboundary maps were continually changing.  So, when a buyer moved to a specified area, we were uncertain as to whether their home will be included in their school district of choice the following year.  Thus, we were advised not to discuss school districts.  Many agents refer buyers to the Brevard Public School System Website, in our area.  The site highlights school districts and it is full of statistical data in our area.

Many counties have their own school system websites. There are websites available that will tell which addresses are within a given school district. You can find them on my website. 

REALTORS are in a position to refer their customer to the necessary websites to help them find the information that may help them make a decision to suit both their wants and their needs.  One such website is City Data.  It is packed full of statistical data on any given area. Crime stats for an area can be found here, also.

A REALTOR can refer a client to the National Sex Offender Registry Website for sex offenders in an area.

Remember, Realtors also cannot give legal advice to a client.  This is best left to an attorney.

So, the next time a buyer asks a REALTOR a question that they are unable to answer, remember, there are topics that agents cannot discuss.  There are various resources today that offer an abundance of excellent information.  But, be sure to check that you are getting the information from a trusted site.

 

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Rainmaker
3,247,788
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Sandy

Your right on target and be mindful of the Fair House Laws when we're answering question and give certain information.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Oct 18, 2013 06:51 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,515,897
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Two posts in a week, Sandy. On a roll. Good advice here.  Speak what you are licensed to speak...real estate.

Oct 18, 2013 08:55 AM #2
Rainer
314,144
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Thanks for the reminder about what to say and what not to say. Referring them to a web site for their answers is the best and only way to handle the situation. We are in a libel world in the last 25 years.

Oct 18, 2013 09:35 AM #3
Rainmaker
241,327
Bette Gottwald
UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
"Bet"on Central PA Real Estate!

Good advice Sandy, it is so important for real estate agents to keep the Fair Housing Laws in the back of their minds all the time.

Oct 18, 2013 10:37 AM #4
Rainmaker
409,962
Karen Winters, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Koenig Rubloff Realty Group - Chicago, IL - Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL

Buyers, or renters that I've worked with had no idea that these can be sensitive questions, and potentially Fair Housing Law violations. Once I explained what I could and couldn't answer, and why, they were completely understanding, especially if I could refer them to a website that could give them the info they wanted.

Oct 18, 2013 12:38 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,022,671
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

A few years back I posted links to all our local schools, government sites, crime stats, etc. on our firm website.  That way it is easy to refer customers directly to that information so they can get it right from the source. Plus it gets the customers to refer back to our site in the future.

Oct 19, 2013 10:47 AM #6
Rainmaker
810,895
Kerry L Klun, Broker/Owner
Palm Realty - Melbourne, FL
321-626-5868

Sandy, you are correct, we have to be careful on answering certain questions for buyers.  Great advice, thanks.

Oct 21, 2013 06:51 AM #7
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Rainmaker
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Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate

Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast
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