A realtor can’t tell you everything you might want to know!

“…if you find yourself needing to make a decision regarding your home, I’m confident contacting him will get you to your desired goal.”

“I called and spoke with Chris to discuss the sale of my home. Despite being out of state due to moving duty stations for the Army, Chris was extremely helpful. He took the time to explain a multitude of options, even though my call had caught him off normal work hours, as I had forgotten the time zone difference. Regardless, he did everything he could to make me feel well informed in just our first conversation. Later he even checked in with me during the holidays, not necessarily even to update me on things, but out of genuine concern. Finally, when my particular set of circumstances led to having to go another direction, Chris, in good cheer, did his best to further inform me of the best ways to handle things and wished me the best of luck. It’s easy to say that if you find yourself needing to make a decision regarding your home, I’m confident contacting him will get you to your desired goal. Thanks for everything.”

George H.
A realtor can't tell you everything you might want to know!
Video Transcription

A realtor can’t tell you everything you likely want to know and here’s why. Hi, everybody. My name is Chris Wojciechowski. I am with HomesIn719.com. This video is all about the things that we get asked from time to time to help our clients, by our clients, and there are several things that we can’t tell you for various reasons.

I want to get into the list here and try to give you a little bit of insight as to what all these things are and why we can’t tell you some of the things you likely want to know. The good news is, I’m also going to try to point you in a direction that will help you find some of the answers.

First, fair housing started way back in the 1950s, it was some things that people used to do effectively to discriminate against other people. The federal government, state and local governments, through the years, all got together and developed a list and various regulations around discrimination and making sure that it didn’t happen or at least trying to make sure it didn’t happen. Both the federal government and the state of Colorado have put together a list.

Here is the list of things, and I’ll explain each one of these here in just a minute. Race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability, ancestry, marital status, and creed are all things the fair housing, under HUD, has stated you cannot use in any form or it’s called discrimination, but any form of segmentation, let’s say.

For race, sometimes, very rarely nowadays, a client might come to a realtor and say, “Hey, I want to live in a neighborhood where only this type of people live or people like me live.” A realtor really can’t help you with that. We’re not allowed to. We can get in trouble. All of these things I’m going to tell you today puts our license in jeopardy and the way we provide a living to our families. We definitely don’t want to go down that road. We can lose our license, be sanctioned, even fined by the state of Colorado if we remotely get anywhere close to these. We’re really touchy about them. In this example, you said, “Hey, I want to live in a neighborhood where people like me live, or people that don’t look like me live, or whatever it might be,” we can’t help you with that.

What you need to do is come to us and say, “Hey, I want to live in neighborhood X, Y, or Z,” and we can help you find homes in that neighborhood. But we can’t help you identify where people do or do not live, because that would be under redlining. So it’s a term where maybe I take a map and draw out a box and say, “Hey, you want to live here but not here ” The realtor or a lender would draw out and say, “Hey, I’m not going to show houses in this area or I’m not going to lend money to people in this area.” So we can’t do that. We can’t get anywhere near that. But if you, as the customer, if you come to us and say, “Hey, I want to live in this neighborhood, then we can definitely show you that neighborhood.”

If you say, “I don’t want to see this,” as a client, we don’t have to show you homes in that neighborhood and that’s perfectly fine.

Color’s another one. Pretty self-explanatory and very similar to the last one.

National origin, if you came to us and said, “Hey, I don’t want to live anywhere where people from Asia live,” we can’t identify that. Again, you need to come to us with the neighborhoods, the areas you want to live, where you have that kind of condition and then we can help you show houses around that.

Religion, if you want to live where the Catholics are, the Baptists or whoever it might be, we can’t help you identify those areas either. You need to identify where you want to live. If you have that kind of restriction, then tell us and we’ll show you the areas that you ask us to show you. We can do that.

Familial Status, if you want to be in an area where only single people are, or only families are, we can’t touch that one either for the same reason.

Disabilities, we can’t do that. We can’t show properties where people with x disabilities are or are not. We can’t show … “Only show me the properties where ADA is.” We really can’t do that unless you ask us to from that standpoint. And then if you do have some filtering on that, we can see if it is a house ADA or not.

We can’t always identify all those. It’s more of a keyword search than it is an absolute. So it’s a little bit difficult to find those from time to time.

Marital status, same kind of deal. Is the person married or not married? Just like the other one, familial status.

So is creed, if a person doesn’t have a religion and they have other things of faith, we can’t … just like with the religions, we can’t show you areas where this type of faith is or this type of faith isn’t. We can’t go down that road.

One of the exceptions to this is 55 and older communities. Those are completely allowed where a section of homes have been designated for 55 and older under certain HOA restrictions. That we can do, so we CAN search for those and help you find them and that’s not a rule that I make. That’s a rule, again, fair housing has made and those are the rules we have to play by.

Some of the other ones we get asked more frequently than the fair housing stuff by far, it’s not even close, are things like, “Hey, I want to live where the best schools are.” Sorry, we can’t tell you where the best schools are. What we can do though is give you some resources to help you research that and then you can come to us and say, “I want to live in,” whatever school district that you found works best for you because each school district has different programs and if you’re looking for disability’s programs or not, or you’re looking for medical or you’re not. So we can give you some website resources you can go to and find the schools that best meet your needs. And then from that, we can search for properties in that school district and only show you those.

Crime’s another one we can’t do. If you say, “Hey, I want to be in a safe neighborhood,” can’t tell you. Even though I feel like I know what that is, where those areas are, I am not an expert on crime. I’m an expert in real estate. So if you were to ask me that, I’m going to give you another resource. “Hey, here is a great resource to go look at, gives you up to the minute, roughly, crime reports and helps you get more aware of what’s going on.” I will say this and I think I have another video of this on my website, but the resource that I recommend you really need to go and look at your current neighborhood if you can. Get a feel for how bad your current neighborhood is and then when you go look at other neighborhoods you have a much better feel for it.

Is that better or worse than where I live? Cause that’s really what you’re asking yourself, right? You want to live in … is it the same or better, probably? Very unlikely you want to live in a worse one. But you can go and look at that and do a really good AB comparison. People that just go and look at neighborhoods, they go, “Oh, this one’s bad, this one’s bad, this one’s bad,” or whatever. And they don’t realize that that’s just the average. So if you look at your neighborhood first, it gives you a much better indication.
Zoning. Zoning is an interesting one. If you were saying you want a very specific kind of property in a very specific zone, we can show you that, but we can’t guide you as to what kind of property you can build on that zone. So the building department needs to help you through that. We can show you the properties that have been flagged in the MLS for a specific zone, but before you buy, definitely check it out with a building department, make sure that property is in that zone and that you can do what you want with it.

So residential properties aren’t that big of a deal. But let’s say you’re buying a residential property and you wanted to do what’s called an ADU, an accessory dwelling unit, a little place for mom out back, right? Some neighborhoods you can do that, some you can’t. There are HOA restrictions that could affect that. There are also covenants, city code, zoning. All of those can apply and restrict or allow that. So if that’s something you want to look forward to doing, you definitely want to check that out with all those departments I just mentioned, just to make sure you can do that once you buy the property.

And I would recommend if you’re going down that road, especially from the building apartment, get it in writing that you can do that. Don’t just take the guy in the counter, “Oh yeah, you can do that.” Well, how would I know? Get that in writing and get that person’s name so that if you ever need it down the road, you can prove that you went there on a specific day, asked very specific questions and got the answer from Bob. That will help you tremendously with the city or even the HOA. So the same thing, get their names, who approved it all in writing without question.

Repairs and conditions. A lot of realtors won’t go down this road too much because we’re not experts on construction or that house, or is that normal, or this normal? Is that something to worry about? So if you ask us for that, most realtors will not do that. I have a different background than most realtors, facility maintenance manager. I’ve done a bunch of flipping, taken distress properties and fixing them. I’m pretty handy. So because of that, there’s things that I can see that I’m very comfortable with telling you, “This is a normal kind of crack, but let’s have it checked out by a resource that I have. This is an issue, we definitely want to have that checked out.” But we won’t just tell you right there, “Hey, yeah, that’s good. Don’t worry about it.” That’s never … shouldn’t come out of any realtor’s mouth and it won’t even come out of mine. But my eyes look for a little bit different things because of my background.

So there are a few things. I might have missed a couple, but I think that’s all the things that a realtor can’t tell you. They can’t help you with, they can’t red line and draw things out and tell you where you should and shouldn’t live. That’s all on you. And you come to us and we’ll guide you down that road. So if you have any questions, concerns, or comments about this video, please put those in below. Reach out to me via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or call me directly. Text me, whatever’s easiest for you. My number is 719-332-3628, 719-332-3628. Thanks for watching. I hope you have a great day. Bye now.

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