Play Up That Stellar School Rating to Buyers

Good schools pay off in a home sale. Indeed, having a high rating on sites like GreatSchools, which rates public schools based on statewide assessments, can be a boon to a home’s value. Realtor.com® researchers analyzed 1.6 million home listings in the U.S. through the first six months of 2016 and found that houses in public-school districts with GreatSchools’ highest ratings, 9 or 10, were priced on average 77 percent higher than homes in nearby districts with scores of 6 or lower.

Furthermore, homes that are located in top districts sell four days faster — 58 days, versus the national median of 62 days, realtor.com®’s analysis notes. 

For example, in Bronxville, N.Y., about 15 miles north of Manhattan, homes within the Bronxille school district tend to sell for a premium. Homes within the district sell for twice the price per square foot ($654) as those with Bronxville addresses that are zoned outside of the Bronxville schools ($330), says Kathleen Collins, a real estate pro with Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Bronxville.

Some real estate professionals are getting savvy at predicting their busiest times on the market based on school timelines. For example, in La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., which falls within Los Angeles County, the acclaimed school district sets the market, says Anne Sanborn, a real estate pro with Sotheby’s International Realty in Pasadena.

“I’m very busy in March, when the private-school rejection letters go out,” she says. Parents who find out their child hasn’t been accepted into the elite private school then start house hunting in La Cañada, Sanborn told The Wall Street Journal. Further, “there is a mass exodus from La Cañada when their kids graduate high school,” she says. Families sell their homes and tend to move closer to downtown Los Angeles or Pasadena.

Source: “Homeowners’ Quest for the Best Schools,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 26, 2017)

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