Posted by Peggy Farber on 7/20/2016

Businesspeople imitating see, hear, speak no evil conceptThe country’s long history of racism and racial discrimination effected many aspects of life in the U.S. and the world of real estate was no exception to this. In the past, real estate agents would practice things such as “steering” and “blockbusting.” In both cases real estate agents played a part in segregating different communities by race.  Whether by steering, suggesting clients look in certain neighborhoods based on their race, or blockbusting, convincing homeowners to sell their homes quickly and at low prices by instilling the fear that minorities would soon be taking over the area, their practices did not have their clients’, or the general populations, best interests at heart. In fact, ‘steering’ and ‘blockbusting’ allowed agents to reap many fiscal rewards of racism. Modern day real estate agents have a very high standard of ethics and laws in place in regard to discrimination for these very reasons. These standards make the content an agent can provide his or her clients with limited at times. There is certain information your agent can not and should not provide. An agent cannot and should not attest to the specifics of a certain neighborhood. The agent shouldn’t tell a client the area is perfect for single persons or on the other hand describe a neighborhood as family-friendly. Your agent can suggest you speak with some of the homeowners in the neighborhood in order to get a better grasp on the neighborhood’s atmosphere. Similarly, If you want to know if the area you’re looking in has a good school system, an agent can point you in the direction of where this information and data is readily available, perhaps online, and allow you to do your own research and make your own assumptions. An agent, generally, cannot provide you with his or her personal experience or opinion on these sensitive topics. This is not detrimental to you as a buyer or a seller. As a seller you are ensured your agent is showing any and all interested buyers, and as a buyer you know your agent is showing you the optimal number of homes and neighborhoods based on your desires not your race. As your real estate agent I’d be happy to point you in the right direction of any information you may be seeking while abiding by all of the highest moral standards of my profession. It is my job to have your best interests in mind.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/1/2014

When you walk into an open house and see the home you want to buy, before you start working with the seller's agent, you need to understand who that agent is working for. Many buyers do not understand that the seller's agent has a fiduciary duty or a duty of loyalty to the homeowner. While agency laws differ from state to state they have the same general principles: Typically an agent represents either the buyer or the seller. However, in some cases an agent will assume the role of a dual agent (representing both the seller and the buyer). Make sure to check the agency laws specific to your state, but in general agents fall into these categories: Seller's Agent: A seller's agent works for the real estate company that lists and markets the property for the seller, exclusively representing the interest of the seller. Buyer's Agent: Some states may have written agreements regarding buyer agency. A buyer agent assists the buyer in evaluating properties, preparing offers, and negotiating in the best interest of the buyer. Dual Agency: Dual agency occurs when the buyer's agent and the seller's agent are the same person or company (depending on state law). Dual agents do not act exclusively in the interests of either the seller or buyer. Dual agents cannot offer undivided loyalty to either party. A conflict of interest can arise because the interests of the seller and buyer may be different or adverse. A buyer and seller must agree to dual agency. Always ask your real estate agent about the agency laws in your state. Many states require buyers and sellers to sign a disclosure form at the first meeting between the agent and potential client.