Anyone dealing with a real estate agent always wonders about how straight the dealing is. How can they ever be sure that their agent is giving them all the details they need to make an informed decision? It doesn’t help that real estate agents like to use advertising speak (whatever they say sounds like a line from an advertisement, not like anything a real person would use to communicate). Thankfully, real estate agents are legally bound to be upfront with you and they take that duty seriously. Still, there are some circumstances where your agent won’t really tell you everything you want to know. After all, he’s a salesman who needs to make a sale.
If you think about it, the situation that the real estate agent finds himself in is something like the circumstances they present in the first Poltergeist movie. If they are going to be selling houses that sit on top of the cemetery, they would rather you didn’t know about it. It could be a beautiful home, but it could be right next to an area that’s known for its crime statistics more than its great schools. You don’t have to ask your real estate agent about every single home and neighborhood he wants to show you – you just have to tell him right off the bat that you are not willing to accept a house in an area that has more than a certain level of crime of any kind. If you don’t believe the real estate agent, go ask the local police station what they think of the crime in the area.
Anyone who’s seen Erin Brockovich doesn’t want to be sold at home in an area that has any environmental issues going on. Real estate agents typically receive advice in their training to not go volunteering information on the environmental issues to do with an area. It could just get too troublesome. All you need to do then is to search on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website yourself. Just put in the zip code for the area you’re interested in, and right away, you’ll know if your house is built on top of the toxic waste dump.
If an area has great schools, you can be sure that your real estate agent is going to never stop crowing about it. Buyers, typically ones with children are usually very interested in how great the schools in the area are. You really don’t need to depend on your real estate agent for this. If you really want to know about the schools in an area, you should probably check websites like SchoolMatters or GreatSchools to see what kind of teacher-student ratio you’ll be looking at.
It’s something that’s repeated so often that it’s lost all meaning, but any time you go out making an expensive purchase, it really is buyer beware.