We recently had a prospect who got furious with us because we wouldn’t answer all of his questions. He threatened to leave bad reviews on the internet and went on to call us names, and even went as far as contacting the property owner to report us. Unfortunately, this young prospect was completely in the wrong and I’m sure our tenants will appreciate our stance. So I wanted to share his questions and explain why we couldn’t answer all of them.
Does the current tenant live alone or is there a family living here?
What is the neighbors like and what do they do?
What is the neighborhood like?
Is there crime in the area?
Questions like these are actually illegal for Realtors to answer. Outside of legal positions, we would NEVER disclose who our current tenants are for basic safety reasons. Not understanding or accepting the privacy of tenants is just disrespectful! We did refer the prospect to the local police department who could provide reports on crime but this didn’t seem to satisfy him. He felt like we should answer the question directly but we don’t have that data as we, too, turn to the police department for information.
Due to local, state and federal laws, agents cannot legally profile what ‘type’ of person lives in a building or offer to stereotype a neighborhood. This can be considered discrimination and/or steering, both of which are illegal! Besides, we don’t make it a habit to drive around neighborhoods looking at people – we have plenty of other work and other things to care about! But, if a tenant or buyer cares about that, then they can spend time in the area to form their own conclusion.
If questions like these are important to you, then please know that you need to do your own due diligence because agents will not violate laws, discriminate or stray from our Code of Ethics.