The truth is, school reputations can make or break real estate values.
And why does public school funding usually become a political hot potato when jurisdictions discuss increasing funding or adding a new 1/2 cent meals tax to help fund the schools?
Honestly, good schools cement real estate values.
(Of course, if that new public school funding is coming from a new casino gambling or from the sale of legal marijuana (pot), politicians get stoked! But a 1/2 cent meal tax, you’d think the economy was going to collapse.)
But the reality is, schools impact real estate values.
Even, perceived value.
iPhones & real estate apps
Finding a home in 2019 is super easy since you add apps like Redfin/Zillow/or Trulia and then get an alert instantly when there is a match.
These are so addictive, and literally, consume the lives of buyers and sellers.
If you have already bought a home… delete that app now!
Vienna Real Estate & FCPS
In late 2018, the core backbone for every real estate app was impacted by the conversion to BrightMLS. BrightMLS is the Aorta of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area real estate information.
think of the sun…
Even in 2019, the data that is added to BrightMLS is done 50% by the Realtor handling the sale for the owner, known as the Listing Agent.
Much information is auto-populated by BrightMLS and the agent adds comments, photos, heating and cooling info, school info, and other stuff depending on their mood. Maybe they feel creative like a marketer, or in a rush to get a home listed with the minimum amount of details required.
Actually the first time missing information helped my buyer client was five years ago when a listing agent put no school information in. That house went to my client’s preferred elementary school, Louise Archer which I recognized immediately.
The problem for people depending on their app… it didn’t flag that home.
Today, BrightMLS still asks agents to add school information even though many home buyers depend 100% on “the right” school.
So the weak link remains whether the agent was paying attention.
The wrong school can be a deal-breaker
Funding schools, paying teachers, modernizing existing schools is critical to the economic health of Fairfax County. Communities with schools rated below 5 face hard times when trying to increase real estate values.
It’s a great house, but no way because the school is a 4!
But what happens if the Listing Agent doesn’t add any school, or, God forbid, adds the wrong school?
Trust, but Verify
My tip for any concerned parent or homeowner who is selling a home, trust what you see online but know that you also need to verify the school information.
In Fairfax County, I go to the Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) website and look at the schools listing for an address especially if it is near a boundary line. Trust, but verify.
Have an address? Then search for it on the FCPS.edu site.
In the end, you may find that the wrong school is listed online and that may influence your home buying decision. Especially in Fairfax County, public schools influence the value of real estate significantly.