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I've been asked a question about a particular area that I just couldn't answer. Ok, I could answer, but at the peril of losing my license. You know the questions.

Here is another tool in the arsenal I give to clients to find out before moving what the pitfalls and pluses are regarding specific areas.

City-Data.com

I've found that it is better than a lot of other forums. Of course there are people on there that are alarmists or apologists, just like any other member driven media, but if your clients are able to look past the extremists, they should be able to see some good information.

As a real estate agent, there are things that I can't do. One of the stickiest is called steering. Basically, this means that a client is only shown property in a certain area, or not shown property in a certain area because I think it would be more comfortable for the client. The reason that it can be sticky is, as a real estate agent, we are often asked by our buyers to only "show houses in _(insert racial/religious/cultural/ethnic/other group identity here)_ type of area" or "don't show me houses in ..." blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. If I comply with that request, based on the language of the request, I can lose my license. Can you find an agent that will do as you've asked, based on that or a similar conversation? Absolutely. But, it won't be me.

If a client asks me to show them homes in a particular subdivision or neighborhood, I CAN do that. But, the toughest question is "Can you find me a home in a family friendly subdivision?" It's tough because it is a technical violation of the ethics rules of the Georgia Real Estate Commission for me to used familial status as a determining factor in selecting homes to show. However, the way I would handle it is to ask questions... legal questions. The first one is"

What do you consider family friendly?

Based on that, we can find the right house. We can talk about schools, recreational opportunities, traffic flow, and other factors.

Luckily, there is no danger in telling me you want car friendly neighborhood. Neither car people, nor non-car people are protected groups... yet.