10 Things Your Realtor Can't Tell You

Reblogger Susan McCall, Independent Listing and Buyer Agent
Real Estate Agent with Compass Realty Solutions 990300265

When I introduce buyers to a neighborhood and a home for sale I advise them to come back at a different time of day, perhaps evening or on the weekend.  I tell them to park their car and walk around a few blocks and get a feel for what is going on, how homeowners are taking care of the homes behind them in the next block and see the activity as it develops through out the day.  

For instance a residence that opens the 2 car garage door and has a TGIF party with loud music and lots of friends over.  Or a neighbor that has a basket ball standard outside a bedroom window that is used every afternoon and weekend with the thrump thrump of the basket ball going up and down over and over.

Original content by Mimi Foster

Over the past few decades of selling real estate, people often ask questions I can't answer, either because of laws preventing disclosure, or because so many of the questions are subjective and change from person to person or situation to situation. Here are some common questions your Realtor can't tell you:

  1. Is it a safe neighborhood?Realtor can't tell you if neighborhood is safe

    This is probably the question I get asked most often. I can't possibly answer that, but I can direct you to either the local police department for crime statistics, or to online sites that can give you area crime reports. Regardless of what the current status of a neighborhood is, something could happen next week that might change your comfort levels.

  2. Is this a family-friendly neighborhood? (Or conversely - We don't want to live near children.)

    Familial Status is a protected class under local and federal laws, so it's not legal for a Realtor to steer a client to an area that does or doesn't have children. If you want to be in child-friendly areas, you might look at homes near schools. To qualify as a Senior Only community, there are federal guidelines that must be adhered to, and exceptions cannot be made for some families and not others.

  3. Is this a good elementary/junior high/high school?

    As with many areas of housing, "good" and "safe" and "clean" are all subjective, meaning everyone's opinion can be different. For questions like this, statistics can be found online for certain school criteria. Once you've identified a home that interests you, you might also want to ask neighbors, or speak with teachers and staff at the school you're considering.

  4. Realtor can't tell you about religious neighborhoodsCan you find us a Catholic neighborhood? (or Jewish, or Mormon, or hispanic, or Lebanese, etc.)

    Not only is religion a protected class, but so are nationalities. A Realtor can't possibly know what your criteria might be, nor is "steering" in any way legal. If there are specific places where you would like to live, specific neighborhoods where your friends live or where your group meets or where your church is located, then we can certainly show you homes in areas you request, but please don't ask us to specify those neighborhoods for you.

  5. Are there sex offenders in the neighborhood?

    Megan's Law requires convicted sex offenders to register their address with local officials. This information is available to the public. You may check the public records, or, for a nominal fee, get up-to-the-minute information from the police department in the locality of where you're considering a move. Since all information is subject to change (and not everyone registers how they're supposed to), if this is an area that's important to you, make sure you're comfortable with the information you gather.

  6. We want you to advertise our house to single, young professionals.

    Um . . . no. Besides other things, you can't discriminate based on marital status (this is considered discriminatory against someone who is not single) and age is protected (you can't solicit to exclude the elderly).

  7. Realtor can't tell you if your home value will increaseWill the house I'm buying go up in value?

    If we had a crystal ball, we might better be able to answer that question. In 2007 when the market was hot, people thought they couldn't lose. Then 2008 happened, and we are slowly recovering. There are too many variables - area considerations, economy (especially local), style, etc. But if you liked the house when you bought it, chances are, when it comes time to sell, someone else will like it as well, especially if it's in good and clean condition.

  8. Can we build a garage on the property?

    Each municipality has different laws regarding setbacks and variances. If building a garage is important to you (or a shed or a separate structure or modifying the structure that currently exists), I recommend you check with your local building department to find their specifics for what you have in mind.

  9. What's the standard real estate commission?

    THERE IS NO STANDARD REAL ESTATE COMMISSION. I can tell you what my company charges as standard practice, but commission is negotiable and I can't speak to what any other company or agent charges.

  10. Why do Trulia and Zillow advertise five bedroom houses for $50,000 on five acres in the mountains that were never available?

    definitely can't answer that question. Please stop asking.

    Realtor can't tell you why Trulia advertises homes that aren't for sale

 
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If you would like to search for Homes for Sale in Colorado Springs,

or for any of your other real estate needs,

please contact your Colorado Springs Realtor

 Colorado Springs Realtor Mimi Foster

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Selling homes throughout Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City,
Manitou Springs and surrounding areas with a
Specialty in Victorian and Vintage Homes in
Downtown Colorado Springs
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Ambassador
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Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Thanks so much, Susan. Have a great weekend.

Feb 26, 2016 08:22 AM #1
Ambassador
1,346,122
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Susan, oh, YES, the DON'TS. Good re-blog!

Feb 26, 2016 10:57 AM #2
Rainmaker
4,204,732
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Susan, great advice to your clients, and advice you can tell them!  Nice reblog with valuable information to your readers!  

Feb 28, 2016 02:31 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,524,557
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Thanks sor sharing this one.

Dec 09, 2016 10:42 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,138,433
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I love your advice about visiting the neighborhood several times at different times. So much to be learned. Buying into a new neighborhood is a very risky business. You just never know what you are buying into!

Aug 15, 2017 10:02 AM #5
Rainmaker
820,733
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

All home buyers should read this post so that they have realistic expectations of things their Realtor can't tell them.

Nov 25, 2017 05:09 PM #6
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Susan McCall, Independent Listing and Buyer Agent

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