Top 5 Questions Realtors can’t or won’t Answer

As Realtors®, Rick and I get asked all kinds of questions from home buyers relocating to Spring Texas.  The majority of the questions we know the answer to and gladly provide an answer.

But there are some questions that if we answered we could potentially be in violation of Fair Housing Laws. And there are other questions that instead of answering we would prefer to refer home buyers with the direct source of the information.

fair-housing-laws-diversificationQuestion 1:  What are the demographics of the neighborhood? According to Article 10 of the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics, “When involved in the sale or lease of a residence, REALTORS shall not volunteer information regarding the racial, religious or ethnic composition of any neighborhood nor shall they engage in any activity which may result in panic selling”

My Realtor’s license is my livelihood and I can not risk losing it by answering this question.  If you want demographics of the neighborhood, visit the Census’ Fact Finder web site.

Question 2:  Is this a safe or good neighborhood?  I can’t answer this question for you. Not because it is against fair housing laws but because I don’t know what your definition of a safe or good neighborhood is.  If you want to know the crime rates go to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office web site. If you want to know if sex offenders are living in the area go to the Texas Department of Public Safety web site.  Another suggestion is to drive through the neighborhood on various days of the week and at various times of the day to get a feel for the neighborhood.

Question 3:  What are the schools like?  I may know whether the school district has an Exemplary, Recognized, Academically Acceptable, or Unacceptable Rating.  But I do not believe that a school’s rating is the only thing you should consider when determining whether your kids will like and excel at a particular school. I recommend you review the school’s web site of Spring School District, Klein School District, Tomball School District, Conroe School District, or Cy-Fair School District.  And if you really want to find out what the school is like, go visit the school and walk its halls and meet the teachers and principal.

Question 4:   Are there kids in the neighborhood?  According to the training  I have taken on Fair Housing Laws, I can not answer this questions.  But when you are in the neighborhood look for signs of kids such as playgrounds, bikes, balls, and basketball hoops. Also be on the lookout for signs in front yards with a child’s name and a sporting or extracurricular activity on it.

Question 5:  How long will it take me to drive from this neighborhood to my office located at?  I can certainly give you a general answer regarding the commute time.  But since I am not going to be the one driving to your place of employment five days a week, my suggestion is for you to drive it yourself several times before deciding on the home.

Rick and I want to be your go to source for Spring Texas real estate information.  All we ask is that if we say we can’t answer due to the NAR Code of Ethics, please don’t hound us for an answer.