What we as Realtors cannot say, and why…
December 29, 2012, by Mark Wheeler
As Realtors, we are happy to work within the national Fair Housing Laws. These important laws help prevent discrimination in real estate, which, sadly, until recently was rampant, and likely still exists here & there.
Sometimes a buyer will say to us something like “is this a good neighborhood,” or “is there crime in this area,” or “what demographic lives here?” These questions, while seemingly innocuous, can provoke from someone who may be biased the wrong kind of answer, with the result being a form of discrimination. So, our Fair Housing Laws govern how this kind of question can be answered by a responsible real estate professional.
We are ready willing and able to point you to the very best sources of answers to these questions. However, we cannot be the source of those answers. This makes sense because we are Realtors; we are not crime statisticians or demographers, but we can point you to where you might find those statistics. This way, you can find objective information and it should not be tainted by anyone’s personal biases.
In Portland, we have some good sources for demographic, schools and crime information. One great resource is Portlandmaps. If you enter any address on the first page, it will lead you to a large amount of information about that property & the surrounding area. You will see everything from the permit history & the nearby parks to crime & census statistics. This is one of the websites that we use most in our daily business.
Until very recently, there was a lot of discrimination right here in our lovely home town, but we and many others are working hard to make sure that is a thing of the past. For more about fair housing in Portland Oregon, the Fair Housing Counsel of Oregon is a great resource. They also do a bus ride around the area titled “Historic Tours of Discrimination, fasten your seat belts, it’s been a bumpy ride” which is a real eye opener to the heinous aspects of our local history. But shedding light on these issues helps us to understand and overcome them.
Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information. Thank you!