- You have the right to shop for financing, real estate agents, insurance, etc. Don’t let anyone discourage you from shopping around. It’s important to shop – a house is probably your biggest purchase. It’s a good idea to a get a second opinion or bid so you can compare costs.
- Make sure you are given a full accounting of all expenses before you sign anything.
Federal Fair Housing Act
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits taking any action or making any decision in the sale of a house based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (generally children under 18) or handicap.
Things that are prohibited:
- Refusing to sell to someone who has made a bona fide offer
- Refusing to negotiate a sale
- Making housing unavailable
- Discriminating in the terms, conditions or privileges of the sale or in providing the services connected with the sale
- Any notice, statement or advertisement that indicates a preference, limitation or discrimination or the intention to do so
- Saying the dwelling is unavailable when it is available
- “Block-busting” inducing, or attempting to induce, owners to sell property quickly or at a reduced price by suggesting a minority is moving in.
- “Steering” directing certain groups to certain parts of town
- “Redlining” denying a person who qualifies for a loan or insurance because of the neighborhood in he or she lives.
- Discriminating in residential real estate transactions or brokerage
- Discriminating in residential real estate transactions or brokerage services
- Refusing to make a loan
- Refusing to provide information on loans
- Offering different terms or conditions for the loan
- Discriminating in the appraisal of the property
- Refusing reasonable accessibility modifications to the property made at purchasers expense (Does not exclude you from negotiating to have seller pay for them.)
- Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services that would afford a handicapped person better use or enjoyment of a dwelling.