How’s the neighborhood? This is the question many buyers desperately want to know, and the question agents dread. We want to answer all their questions, but disclosing details about crime, racial makeup and other details about neighborhoods that buyers’ often ask is a big no-no for agents.
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap (disability).
Agents have been taught to answer questions about neighborhoods with a stock phrase like this “The Fair Housing Act prohibits me from providing that kind of information. I recommend you contact……”
In the past we would send clients to the police department for information about crime – a process that made you feel like you were passing the buck- crime reports aren’t exactly a cinch to read.
Introducing Trulia Crime Maps
Last week Trulia introduced new crime maps in 50 cities around the country. The maps are very user friendly and make it easy for concerned home buyers to see what crime is like in neighborhoods they are researching.
You can view crimes in a specific area, toggle between multiple neighborhoods, and directly compare the crime statistics of two different regions.
Trulia also enables users to add insights, comments, and advice via Facebook’s Social Comments for additional context and information on top of the geodata.
While Real Estate Agents still can’t answer those tricky questions, we can direct you to a more user friendly experience to find neighborhoods they are comfortable with.
If the cities you are looking for aren’t listed stay tuned, we will be adding more cities and counties in the coming weeks!