Is Location Certified’s neighborhood-quality stamp a marketing tool or trouble for agents?

School, crime and traffic data used to grant or deny 'Location Certified' designation to listings
  • Location Certified will stamp listings with a seal of approval if it determines they are located in neighborhoods with good schools, low crime and low traffic.
  • Agents who pay a fee for certification of a qualified listing get exclusive rights to use it to market a listing.
  • Some think the service might flirt with fair housing laws, but Location Certified says it actually promotes the spirit of such regulation.

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"This home is in a quiet neighborhood with low crime and good schools." Although that may be exactly what many homebuyers want to hear about a property, many agents wouldn't make such a statement for fear of testing fair housing laws. But "Location Certified" lets agents express the idea without actually putting it in words. For a fee, the Boston-based startup will offer a stamp of approval to properties that it determines are located in low-traffic neighborhoods with low crime and high-performing schools. While acknowledging that the service will stir controversy, Location Certified founder David Hitrys says his company's designation can help agents win and market listings, and far from skirting fair housing laws, actually promote diverse neighborhoods. To see if a property qualifies for certification, agents must register on the site with a real estate license ID number and then search the property's address. If a property passes Location C...