What is Steering in Real Estate?

Steering is the illegal practice of influencing a homebuyer or seller to purchase or rent a home in a specific area or community based on their race, religion, gender, color, familial status, or disability. It is a form of housing discrimination that is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Steering can take many forms, some common examples

  • Only showing buyers homes in certain neighborhoods. For example, a real estate agent might only show white buyers homes in predominantly white neighborhoods, and black buyers homes in predominantly black neighborhoods.
  • Discouraging buyers from looking in certain neighborhoods. For example, a real estate agent might tell a buyer that a particular neighborhood is not safe or that the schools are not good, even if that is not true.
  • Encouraging buyers to look in certain neighborhoods. For example, a real estate agent might tell a buyer that a particular neighborhood is up-and-coming or that the schools are excellent, even if that is not true.
  • Refusing to show buyers homes in certain neighborhoods. For example, a real estate agent might tell a buyer that they are not allowed to show homes in certain neighborhoods, even if that is not true.

Steering can also be more subtle. For example, a real estate agent might make assumptions about what a buyer wants or doesn’t want based on their protected characteristics. For example, a real estate agent might assume that a single woman doesn’t want to live in a neighborhood with a lot of families, or that a buyer of color doesn’t want to live in a predominantly white neighborhood.

Steering is illegal because it prevents people from making their own choices about where they want to live. It also perpetuates housing segregation and racial inequality.

How does steering work?

Steering can work in a variety of ways. Real estate agents may use direct or indirect steering tactics to influence buyers’ decisions. Buyers may also self-steer based on their own biases or on the biases of others.

How to Avoid Steering

If you are buying or selling a home, there are a few things you can do to avoid being steered:

  • Be aware of your rights. The Fair Housing Act prohibits steering, so it is important to know your rights as a homebuyer or seller.
  • Work with a reputable real estate agent. Make sure you are working with a real estate agent who is familiar with the Fair Housing Act and who is committed to serving all clients fairly.
  • Ask questions. If you have any concerns about whether you are being steered, ask your real estate agent questions. For example, you can ask why they are showing you certain homes or neighborhoods, and why they are not showing you others.
  • File a complaint. If you believe you have been steered, you can file a complaint with the Fair Housing Act. You can also file a complaint with your state’s real estate licensing board.

What are the 3 types of Steering?

There are three main types of steering:

  1. Direct steering: This occurs when a real estate agent explicitly tells a buyer to or not to buy a home in a certain neighborhood based on their race or other protected characteristic.
  2. Indirect steering: This occurs when a real estate agent uses subtle tactics to influence a buyer’s decision-making process, such as by highlighting the negative aspects of certain neighborhoods or by downplaying the positive aspects of other neighborhoods.
  3. Self-steering: This occurs when buyers make assumptions about what neighborhoods are or are not right for them based on their own biases or on the biases of others.

Conclusion

Steering is a serious problem that can prevent people from accessing the housing they need and deserve. If you think you may have been steered, it is important to file a complaint with HUD. You can also work with a fair housing organization to get help.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are examples of steering in real estate?

  • A real estate agent only shows a buyer homes in certain neighborhoods based on the buyer’s race or ethnicity.
  • A real estate agent tells a buyer that a certain neighborhood is not a good place to live because of the schools or crime rate, when in reality the neighborhood is safe and has good schools.
  • A real estate agent discourages a buyer from making an offer on a home in a certain neighborhood because of the buyer’s familial status, such as having young children.

What is definition of steering in real estate?

Steering refers to the illegal practice of directing a potential homebuyer toward — or away from — a particular neighborhood or area based on protected characteristics. These characteristics include race, religion and more.

What is blockbusting and steering?

Blockbusting is a form of real estate discrimination in which a real estate agent or other person buys up homes in a predominantly minority neighborhood, then sells them at a high price to white buyers in order to “transition” the neighborhood to a white majority. Steering is the practice of directing buyers to or away from certain neighborhoods based on their race or other protected characteristic.

What is steering or channeling in real estate?

Steering or channeling in real estate is the same as steering. It is the illegal practice of influencing a buyer’s choice of communities based on their race, religion, gender, disability, familial status, or national origin.

What is a steering concept?

A steering concept is a way of thinking about steering that focuses on the underlying motivations of the people who engage in it. Steering can be motivated by personal biases, financial gain, or a desire to maintain the racial or socioeconomic status quo of a community.

What is the purpose of steering?

The purpose of steering is to influence a person’s decision-making process in order to achieve a desired outcome. In real estate, steering can be used to keep certain groups of people out of certain neighborhoods, to maintain racial or socioeconomic segregation, or to make money by selling homes to white buyers at inflated prices.

What is steering in marketing?

Steering in marketing is the practice of targeting specific groups of consumers with specific marketing messages. For example, a company might target Black consumers with ads for hair products that are specifically designed for Black hair. Steering in marketing can be used to reach specific consumer groups, but it can also be used to reinforce stereotypes and biases.

What is a steer in sales?

A steer in sales is a technique that salespeople use to influence a customer’s decision-making process. For example, a salesperson might ask a customer questions about their needs and budget, and then steer them towards a product that is more expensive than the customer originally intended to buy. Steering in sales can be used to help customers make the best purchase decision, but it can also be used to manipulate them into buying things they don’t need or want.

What is a steering KPI?

A steering KPI is a key performance indicator that is used to measure the effectiveness of a steering strategy. For example, a company might use the number of Black consumers who purchase its products as a steering KPI. Steering KPIs can be used to ensure that a steering strategy is achieving its desired

Also Read

Jean Folger

Jean Folger brings over 15 years of expertise as a financial writer, specializing in areas such as real estate, investment, active trading, retirement planning, and expatriate living. She is also the co-founder of PowerZone Trading, a firm established in 2004 that offers programming, consulting, and strategy development services to active traders and investors.

Related Articles