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Steering, in the context of real estate, is when someone tries to guide or influence a person's choice of where to live based on their race, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics. It's like trying to push someone to live in a certain neighborhood or avoid another one, just because of who they are, and it's not fair or legal.
For example, imagine a family looking for a new home, and their real estate agent keeps showing them houses only in a specific part of town where people of their same race or ethnicity mostly live. The agent doesn't show them any options in other areas, even though there are homes that fit their needs and budget. This is steering, and it's against the law.
"A Deep Dive for Real Estate Agents"
A few more important points to know about steering in real estate:
- Steering is a violation of the Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act, enacted in 1968, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. Steering is considered a form of discrimination and is therefore illegal under this act.
- Unintentional steering: Sometimes, real estate agents might steer clients unintentionally, perhaps by making assumptions about their preferences based on personal characteristics. It's essential for agents to be aware of their actions and avoid any behavior that might be perceived as steering.
- The role of real estate professionals: Real estate agents and brokers have a responsibility to treat all clients fairly and equally. They should provide equal professional services to everyone, regardless of their background, and present all available housing options that meet the clients' needs and preferences.
- Penalties for steering: Real estate professionals found guilty of steering can face severe penalties, including fines, license suspension or revocation, and even more. In addition, victims of steering can seek compensation through legal action.
- How to prevent steering: Real estate professionals can take steps to prevent steering, such as treating all clients equally, avoiding assumptions about clients' preferences, providing a wide range of housing options, and staying updated on fair housing laws and regulations.
Being aware of steering and its implications is crucial for anyone involved in the real estate industry, as it helps promote fair and equal housing opportunities for all.
"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"
In the land of houses and streets,
Where folks look for their own comfy retreats,
There's a thing some might do, quite unfair,
And steering, my friend, is what we call this snare.
If an agent suggests, "Go this way, not that,
For this neighborhood suits you like a fine hat,"
They're steering, you see, and that's just not kind,
As equal housing chances are what we should find.
Regardless of race, of color, or creed,
All people should have a home that they need,
To live and to grow, as they so wish,
In a world where fair housing is everyone's dish.