You Can't Ask These Question Real Estate Agent

6 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Real Estate Agent

If you’re like most home buyers, you depend on your real estate agent as a resource for many things. You trust your agent’s expertise in the neighborhood you’re interested in, which is why you’ve hired them. However, it’s important to know that there are some questions your agent can’t legally answer due to fair housing laws. These laws are in place to prevent discrimination, and if they break them, they risk losing their license. As a real estate agent myself, I get a lot of questions from clients that I can’t answer. What they don’t realize is that by law, there are certain questions real estate agents are not allowed to answer. 

Why are Real Estate Agents Not Allowed to Answer?

The reason why your real estate agent can’t answer some questions is due to the Fair Housing Act. This law prohibits real estate agents from disclosing specific details about a neighborhood that could be used to discriminate against certain groups. 

Specifically, the Fair Housing Act prohibits the disclosure of information based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status. Because of this law, real estate agents are restricted by law from answering certain questions. Below are some common questions your real estate agent can’t answer. 

Questions You Can’t Ask Your Real Estate Agent

Are the Schools Good Here?

Any questions related to schools and school districts are a big no-no for real estate agents. If they answer questions related to schools, they can be blamed for discrimination. 

That’s why agents have to be careful and not answer any questions about schools and school districts. They will get in trouble if they tell you which neighborhoods have good schools and which don’t. So the next time you want to ask your real estate agent about schools in the neighborhood, know that they will not answer your question.

They will most likely tell you to check school rankings and do your own research so you can decide for yourself. 

Do Families Live in this Neighborhood?

Your real estate agent can’t answer questions related to whether there are families living in a particular area. For example, you can’t ask “Are there a lot of teenagers living in this building?” or “Are there a lot of children on this street?” They cannot provide you with a direct answer.

The reason for this is because Federal Fair Housing Act protects families as a class, which means agents cannot make statements like “this is a great neighborhood with lots of families.” 

You’ll need to make observations yourself by paying attention to the tenants in the building or the people in the neighborhood.

Can You Only Show Me Neighborhoods with a lot of White/Black/Asian/Hispanics?

You can’t ask your real estate agent to only show you homes in neighborhoods that cater to a certain demographic. Doing so would violate fair housing laws and get your agent in trouble. 

While you may want to live in a neighborhood with people who share your background, your agent is not allowed to help you with that. Plus, your agent cannot answer questions about the racial makeup of a certain neighborhood. 

You’ll need to do your own research, make those observations yourself or look at census data to get a better idea of the racial makeup of a neighborhood.

Questions You Can’t Ask Your Real Estate Agent

Can You Tell Me if There are a lot of Italians/Koreans/Middle Eastern (Country of Origin) living in this Neighborhood?

Aside from race, your real estate agent is not allowed to answer questions about the country of origin of the people living in an area. This is because they could get in trouble with fair housing laws. 

It’s also against the law for them to only show you neighborhoods with people from a certain country of origin. For example, you can’t ask your agent to only show you homes in “Italian neighborhoods” or “Korean neighborhoods”. As a matter of fact, they are obligated to show you everything.

Can You Tell Me if there are a Lot of People of a Certain Faith in this Neighborhood?

Religion is a big no-no for real estate agents. They can’t show you only neighborhoods that are a certain faith or to avoid neighborhoods based on faith. 

They are not allowed to answer questions regarding the religious affiliation of residents in a neighborhood. It is up to you to make your own observations and conduct your own research.

Can You Tell Me If It’s a Quiet Building? Are there a lot of Empty Nesters Living in this Building?

Real estate agents are not allowed to answer questions like “Is it a quiet building? Are there a lot of empty nesters living in this building?” This is because they cannot disclose information that may indicate the familial status of an area. 

If you want to know whether a building is quiet because no children live there or whether there are many empty nesters living there, you will need to check the census data or ask people in the area. Just don’t ask your real estate agent!

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