Real estate agents are great at being the blunt of a joke, but not always for good reason.
There are certain things that real estate agents “can’t” tell you, so before you pick on your agent, see if your reasoning might be behind one of them.
Your agent can’t tell you what is, or isn’t a bad neighborhood. It is a violation to stereotype neighborhoods. He or she can give you directions to call the local police station, who more often that not, are willing to give you actual statistics for that particular area.
Your agent cannot recommend a neighborhood. This is called “steering,” and it’s a big no-no. It is the basis of several past lawsuits.
An agent cannot tell you about the seller of a property, without permission from the seller. That common question, “Why are they selling?” really puts a real estate agent on the spot. Agents are not allowed to discuss personal things about their clients. As simple as a question it might be, don’t be surprised if it can’t be answered.
Real estate agents can’t tell you about sexual predators in the neighborhood, but again can direct you to where you can find that information out by yourself.
Your agent cannot tell you what school that particular neighborhood serves. Even though most agents will, it’s not a guarantee that there won’t be re-districting going on that will place that home in a different school district and voila! Another reason for people to sue.
Real estate agents cannot tell you the size of the rooms. Ok, well they can, but there needs to be written disclosures that the room sizes are “approximate.” I have heard of lawsuits coming from a few inches difference in measurements than what was stated on the MLS listing sheet.
Your real estate agent cannot tell you directions that refer to religious symbols. “Turn left at the church on the corner,” believe it or not; it is a violation of Fair Housing laws and maybe offensive to people.
Other violations of Fair Housing might be “master bedroom, walking distance, great views.” Yes, it’s sad but true.
All of these unfortunate “no-nos” have been the result of a past lawsuit. And some wonder why there is so much paperwork involved in a real estate transaction!
Coming down to it, there is actually very little your real estate agent can say. So before you criticize your real estate agent, make sure they’re not actually doing their job the right way!