Why do agents from outside an area answer questions?This example is from Trulia Voices. The same thing happens on the ActiveRain site, I understand. Answering out of area questions for consumers. Why?
Trulia Voices Question and Answer:
"Q. Safe/Not Safe?
Company I work for is relocating to Easton in Fall of 08. I'm window shopping for a home in the area bordered by 270 / Agler Road / Sunbury / and McCutcheon. Don't plan to buy till Fall/Winter 08. EVERYONE is telling me that this is not a safe neighborhood. I've tried to find the truth or falsehood of this by looking at Columbus Police website stats, but can't get a clear picture. Any suggestions or advice?"
Most of the answers simply said real estate agents can't steer you to or from neighborhoods. Most directed the consumer back to the police for questions about neighborhood safety. Here's a novel answer from a Dayton area real estate agent (REALTOR.):
"A. Another way to get an idea of the area is to look at the Ohio State Department of Education Report card for the school district. Check to see if the school is rated excellent, effective, contiuous improvement or ineffective. No one wants to admit it, but there is a high correlation between excellent schools and higher socioeconomic areas."
Ohio Department of Education Report Cards - for all school districts in the state. I thought that told you about schools... not safety of neighborhoods???Why would a Dayton Ohio area real estate agent answer a question about a Columbus Ohio area neighborhood, in the first place? Why would you answer a question about safety of a neighborhood with an answer about school district? Bias against cities? Bias against large school districts? Race?
Map cluster of red dots - the area? - I identified the 2007 sales for the area identified by the consumer. I believe the homes area all in the Columbus School District, the largest Central Ohio school district.
Can the Trulia Voices Q. Person afford a home in a "higher socioeconomic" area? She's asking about the "area bordered by 270 / Agler Road / Sunbury / and McCutcheon." It's convenient to work! Easton is in the open area just north of the cluster of red dots. Perhaps she's searched and found she can afford homes in the area she'd identified. She is not asking about school district or the "socio-econonic" situation of the residents of the area.... she's asking if the area she's identified is a safe neighborhood. She's just asking people who are not qualified or able to answer her question. The can provide her the place to get her question answered, the police.
Bias against big city school district? German Village, Victorian Village, Clintonville, West Albany, Downtown Columbus, MidTown East and other expensive neighborhoods are in the same school district as the area identified by the consumer. Safe? Check with the Columbus police department.
The Columbus Police are the source of safety information about neighborhoods in the City of Columbus. Columbus Division of Police - looks like the area identified by the consumer is in precinct 7 in Columbus. The map of Precinct 7 breaks it down further. I believe 72 (car number?) is the area the consumer identified. "7th Precinct Community Liaison Officer 645-1407 "
Realty Times on 'Housing Group Targets Steering Via Schools' by Blanche Evans says of the National Fair Housing Alliance:
The Alliance says there is a growing tendency by real estate agents to use schools as an excuse to avoid certain neighborhoods when what they are really doing is steering."
Of course she's in Dayton Ohio not Columbus Ohio...
NOTE: Any comments disparaging ANY school district will be deleted, write your own blog post if you want to say something nasty about a school district.
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