Buying Real Estate in North Carolina 07 – Other Aspects: Civil Rights. Professional Services.

The Buyers Agency Agreement defines our duties to you and your duties to us while we are working together to find your home.

I wanted to touch on a couple of items that I think bear repeating here.

First, we cannot and will not discriminate against any party on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status. This is a federal law and we must follow the law. Many times, a buyer will ask if there are children the age of their own children in a particular neighborhood. Or they may ask us to recommend a particular school. Believe it or not, answering those questions would put your Realtor in the position of violating this law with regard to familial status. As such, you will find that most agents will not be able to answer those questions for you. We would recommend that you ask your friends, family, co-workers and other people you know these types of questions. Also, you can visit any county’s school website and learn more about the ratings of any given school in an area that you are considering.

As an aside, recently the National Association of Realtors voted that it would be a violation of our own Code of Ethics to discriminate against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation. It is our goal to treat all parties in a transaction equally, fairly and with dignity and respect.

The other area I wanted to discuss was that of professional advice. During the course of your transaction, we will be recommending that you take advantage of many services available to you. These would include, but are not limited to accountants, appraisers, attorneys, inspectors, insurance agents, surveyors, structural engineers, etc. While we may discuss items with regard to a particular topic with you, it is important to note that we are not experts in these fields and you should turn to people who are experts for answers on those subjects.

Routinely, I am asked how much it will cost to get a house painted, to have flooring put in, to remodel a kitchen or a bathroom and so on. I have been asked how much a buyer’s annual insurance bill will be, what I think a house will appraise for, if that is mold on the floor joists and can’t I just generally tell them if there are any easements or encroachments on the property. While we realize that a buyer might be trying save some money by foregoing this research, at the end of the day, we really are not the best people to go to with these questions.

One of the best things you can do is plan for these expenses and have this research completed by qualified professionals. We will always be happy to refer you to at least two or three people in each field that you can contact for further information.

Next time, we will discuss the difference between Dual & Designated Agency.

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