Real estate agents often are asked where the good schools are or whether a particular school is worthy.
Anyone who answers those questions is in danger of prosecution. That’s because giving schools information is likened to giving neighborhood information.
Under the Fair Housing Act, we’re not allowed to steer buyers toward or away from a “good” or a “bad” neighborhood because doing so amounts to racial discrimination. Among other characteristics, discriminating by race is against the law on not only the federal level, but state and municipal levels as well.
For buyers in search of helpful information about public and private schools, other resources ensure that all is not lost. Continue reading
When it comes to many matters relating to real estate, the Big Apple often lags the rest of the country.
One prime example discussed on this blog concerns the continuing resistance, especially by the biggest brokerages, to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) even while reluctantly accepting VOWs (Virtual Online Web sites).
Another example involves the strictures of the Fair Housing Act, along with other anti-discrimination legislation on the municipal, state and and federal levels.
Such measures protect certain “classes” of consumers–for instance, by the source of their income, marital status, age, race and sexual orientation. (In D.C., sellers may not discriminate by what is called matriculation, that is, against students.) The list of protected classes can rise into the high teens.
Well schooled about the subtleties of the law when I was affiliated with Long & Foster Real Estate in D.C., I was astonished to see how flagrantly the provisions of the law were violated with impunity by brokers here in New York City. Continue reading