Although fair housing laws prevent real estate agents from providing information about crime rates and the local school system to buyers, they can let clients know where to find the data on their own. “We cannot say that one neighborhood is a good one or a bad one, but we can talk to prospective buyers about value and prices,” explains Robyn Burdett of Fairfax, Va.-based Re/Max Allegiance. Experts say agents can discuss an area’s physical features, but not its residents; however, they note that buyers can ask friends and acquaintances and use online sources to determine where they should live. Realtors also can serve as the “source of sources,” meaning their websites can link to sites with school and crime information and they can retain magazine articles with community profiles. Prospective buyers can use for demographic information, and they can search school district websites for information about test scores and programs. School information also can be found on parent blogs and local listservs. Meanwhile, buyers can collect data about crime rates by contacting the local police station, scanning crime reports in local newspapers, or searching They also should visit the area at different times of the day and talk to residents. | Read More