What Your Realtor Can’t Tell You: But How to Find Out Anyway
As a new homebuyer, it’s normal to want to know everything about a community before up and moving your life. If you’re thinking about buying a home, then you probably have a long list of questions you plan to ask your REALTOR®.
Your REALTOR® is a great source of information and will be willing to answer your questions to the best of their ability, but there are some things that they can’t tell you. No, they’re not sworn to secrecy of some REALTOR® club, but rather are legally prohibited from sharing certain information about the area.
To ensure you feel confident in your home buying experience, it’s a good idea to know what questions to skip asking your REALTOR® and how you can still find trustworthy answers anyway.
Demographics are different segments of information about a community including:
Age – Average age(s) of people living in this area
Gender – Gender/sex ratio of the population
Occupation – Salary averages and job statistics in the surrounding area
Cultural background – Anything regarding customs, language, traditions, and social factors of people residing in the community
Family status – Civil and marital status of families in the neighboring homes
These are some of the topics that a lot of home seekers are curious about, but won’t be able to gain much about from their real estate agent due to the Fair Housing Act. This Act protects individuals from discrimination during any housing-related activities.
While your REALTOR® may not be able to share the details of this information about the area that you are looking to move to, there are other ways that you can find it.
- Talk to neighbors – If you are attending an open house, it’s never a bad idea to introduce yourself to the neighbors and get to know the people who live in the surrounding area. You’ll be able to ask more detailed questions about demographics than you would your Realtor.
- Tour the Neighborhood – Drop by to scope the atmosphere, check out other housing communities, visit local businesses, and learn more about the history of the city where you are looking to reside.
- Research the area’s statistics – When in doubt, Google it! There are many online sources such as local websites and the United States Census Bureau, where you can find statistics and numbers about the community.
Next, a REALTOR® can’t give you any data about the ethnicity in the community. The Fair Housing Act prohibits the ability to buy or sell a home to someone based on race, so you won’t be able to gain any info about this through your REALTOR®. You can, however, check the Census Bureau for real-time statistics.
When it comes to religion, your REALTOR® can’t discuss any personal preferences regarding this subject, as to avoid offensive miscommunication. They also can’t provide any statistics or numbers about the religion of people living in the area. They can, however, give you a list of locations for your specific inquiry so that you can research your options in your own time.
Bloomington is home to many diverse religious communities – we suggest reaching out to a place of interest directly to learn more about the resources they offer.
Families come in all different shapes and sizes – married, divorced, living with grandparents, kids, or no kids, and more. For some, family makeup is an important selling point in the home-buying process, but you won’t be able to ask for a document of this data from your Realtor. The best way to find this information would be to look up statistics on the Census Bureau online or take a tour of the neighborhood.
Education is at the top of most lists for those looking to move to a new location. Unfortunately, your REALTOR® can’t just tell you if a school is “good” or not based on reputation. As to avoid any miscommunicated information, they also can’t tell you which schools are preferred by parents in the area. They may be able to provide test scores or offer you websites for the schools closest to the area you were considering.
If you choose to find these answers yourself, you can always browse the local school board websites, as well as local Facebook groups to ask other parents for their advice.
At Griffin Realty, we are glad to service both the Monroe County Community School Board and Edgewood Schools. For more information, please contact the administration or faculty at your school of choice directly.
Moving to a new neighborhood can bring up a lot of concerns when it comes to the safety of your family. Before you ask your REALTOR®, “is this a good neighborhood?”, be aware that they might not give you a direct answer. The Fair Housing Act disallows them from disclosing any crime rates or personal opinions.
Safety is of utmost importance at Griffin Realty. To ensure you feel comfortable with the area that you are considering moving to, we are happy to provide resources, like crime-mapping services and the sex offender registry for finding information about reports in the Bloomington area.
The Choice Is Yours
Buying a home is more than just choosing a destination – it requires a lot of research and answers to questions to determine how a place will impact your life for the better. While they might not be able to give you a direct answer for all of your questions, the right REALTOR® will do what they can to provide you with the best sources for finding them anyway.
Griffin Realty is here to make your home-buying experience one that you feel completely confident in. By keeping current on local market conditions and utilizing sophisticated market analysis software, our agents are committed to educating you in every aspect of the process so that you get not only the best investment, but the perfect home.
If the Bloomington area sounds like the ideal place for your new home, please contact us on our website to get in touch with one of our agents today.