Home Buying in New York>Question Details

Michael Gold, Both Buyer and Seller in New York, NY

Two Brooklyn neighborhoods I a m considering are Park Slope and Fort Greene. I want to know about schools and I've been told by real estate

Asked by Michael Gold, New York, NY Sun Jul 25, 2010

agents that they cannot talk about this, that they are legally prohibited. I guess I don't get that, because if they are selling me the co-op or condo, the school is a lifestyle issue, as we want to know where our little ones will attend. If they know the communities better than me then they are a great resource on the schools, so why the reluctance? What exactly can and can't a real estate agent tell me about schools and why? Why is it different than my parents asking about golf courses in relation to the retirement communities they are looking at? It's all quality of life issues to me and where you choose to live is a whole package.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Michael,

In most municipalities public schools are paid for from property taxes. The suburban counties in the tri-state area (northern NJ, Westchester, Long Island, Fairfield CT) have some of the highest property taxes in the United States. Fortunately for you Brooklyn is one of the 5 bouroughs and counties that make up the City of New York. Our property taxes are among the lowest in the country. Property taxes in NYC do not pay for schools. There are more children enrolled in the New York City public schools than 12 states and the District of Columbia have in total population. New York City also has many fine private and parochial schools.

Real estate brokers are prohibited from steering the practice of directing prospective purchasers toward or away from certain neighborhoods based on racial/ethnic make up of the area.

Most NYC real estate brokers are qualified to sell you a coop or condo but we are not qualified or authorized to promise you that your kids will attend the school across the street from the co-op or condo. Only the Board of Education can authorize enrollment in it's schools. Call the Board of Education for help in finding your way through the enrollment process:

Board of Education
110 Livington Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201

The link below is from my NYC relocation blog. It has links, resources and numbers for the vast array of public services and municipal structure for new residents to New York City. Hope it helps.

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
Visit a neighborhood several times and at different times of day, to get a sense of belonging. Check out area statistics; real estate professionals are prohibited from “steering”—enticing a buyer to purchase, or not, in specific neighborhoods; so, you should check out demographics on your own to assure your comfort level can be reached. As for the schools--if they happen to be in summer session, consider a visit and speak to the principal, teachers, etc., ask all your questions and then make your determination--see links for additional information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
As an agent we already know we can't discuss. As a parent, I suggest you pack up the kids for a day in the park & speak you other parents in the area. Speak to several people to get a feel of the area. People love to talk about their children & community.
You can also find out about afterschool options, organized sports teams, park dept programs, etc.
Good Luck & Happy Hunting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
what you need out of a school is different from what I may need out of a school; the same thing holds true with neighborhoods. Everyone's personal needs are different.

This law protects you from being unduly influenced by someone with a different opinion.

Try schools.com, or go to my website, http://gailgladstone.com and click on school info. There are hundreds of websites that will compare the FACTS about schools.

Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
Mr. Gold:
We are prohibited because of anti-discrimination laws to discuss these matters with you. There are many on-line resources where you can get information about schools, crime, etc. For instance, Sperling's School Profiles is a good resource of information. Good luck!

Ralph Windschuh
Certified Buyer Representative
Associate Broker
Senior Ral Estate Specialist
Century 21 Princeton Properties
Top 2% of Century 21 Agents Nationwide!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
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