Ready to Shop for Houses?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MBA Broker Consultants CalBRE Broker #00983670

Check out schools, services, and other statistics

Besides driving around, you can ask co-workers or friends from church to recommend areas that they like.  Where do your friends live?  What do they like best about their community?  What are the downfalls of particular neighborhoods?  Start by researching these neighborhoods on the internet.

It’s always wise to select a home in a good school district.  Property in a great school district is more valuable, so research the school ratings carefully.  You can find information about schools at

You can ask your real estate agent for neighborhood suggestions, but she may not be able to give you all the answers you are seeking.  The reason is that real estate agents must obey certain laws, so they cannot “steer” you toward a neighborhood or away from a neighborhood.

For example, agents won’t report the racial composition of a neighborhood.  They cannot give you their opinion of a “bad” or a “good” neighborhood, and they cannot recommend certain areas where cultural or religious groups of people live or do not live.  They cannot tell you which school districts are better and which are worse.  Agents are careful to comply with fair housing laws.

One last tip:  As you are driving around neighborhoods, you will see “For Sale” signs on houses.  Write down the address, but do NOT call the agent on the sign.  If you try to call the listing agent whose name is on the sign, he won’t be able to help you since you are already working with a real estate agent.

Instead, call the REALTOR® you have already hired and allow her to look up the price and details in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for you.

Read more in our book, "Buy Your First Home",


Posted by

Regina P. Brown
Broker, Realtor®, M.B.A., e-Pro, GREEN
California DRE # 00983670


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Comments (2)

Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, doing research ahead of time is a great idea so a buyer can decide on a specific area and have a great buyer agent is critical.

Sep 24, 2014 09:13 PM
Steve Kantor
Best Agent Business - Virtual Assistance

Great advice, thanks for posting Regina.

Sep 24, 2014 11:56 PM