What it means to cross the ‘steering’ line in real estate

How to help buyers without limiting their options and violating the Fair Housing Act
  • Steering happens when agents say, “this is a good neighborhood,” or “this is the best neighborhood for families with children” or “you wouldn’t be happy here.” The practice is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act.

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The tie between housing and social issues is simple to connect, but I am not sure which comes first: the housing or the social issues -- because it is all so intertwined. Have you ever noticed how people with lower incomes live in different neighborhoods than those who have higher incomes? In St. Paul, it boils down to good schools versus not-so-good schools. I have never understood how we can have good schools and bad schools within the same school district, but we do. Rich buyer, poor buyer People with higher incomes rarely move into the neighborhoods where people with low incomes live, and, of course, people with low incomes generally cannot afford to live in the communities with the best schools and the nicest houses. Recently, as I worked with a homebuyer who is a school teacher and another who works for a major technology company, it was easy to contrast the homebuying options and the whole homebuying experience. The buyers were all close in age and white with similar ...