“So, what schools are the best in town?”, was one of the first questions my new buyers asked me yesterday afternoon before we went out viewing houses. It was a simple question, asked innocently by customers who I believe want the best education for their children. Unfortunately, I was unable to provide a direct answer to their question because my opinion could have been construed as steering which is a violation of The Fair Housing Act.
I clearly explained why my opinion could unfairly sway them to/away certain neighborhoods and fortunately they understood. As I always do, I provided them with the web address to two sites that could help them make a more informed school decision based on their families needs.
Houston County GA Board of Education – The authoritative source for schools in Houston County GA with bus routes, contact information, demographics, district boundaries, testing data, etc. Great Schools. org – Provides public/private school ratings and reviews by parents and current/former students.
Until THEY decide a certain area and/or school district is right for them, I will continue to show them properties across Houston County that meet THEIR pre-selection home criteria, unimpeded by my own preferences.
Yes, I have a responsibility to represent the best interest of my customers and to be open and honest as the law allows. I do that to the best of my ability 100% of the time, but on the few occasions where that duty could be unlawful, I ALWAYS err on the side of caution.
As defined in The Code of Federal Regulations, Part 14, Section 100.70(a), “It shall be unlawful, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, to restrict or attempt to restrict the choices of a person by word or conduct in connection with seeking, negotiating for, buying or renting a dwelling so as to perpetuate, or tend to perpetuate, segregated housing patterns, or to discourage or obstruct choices in a community, neighborhood or development.”
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