Imagine moving to a new area and telling your REALTOR® that you want to buy a house in the “XYZ” school zone, only to find out after closing on your new home that your children must go to “ABC” school because they are not actually within the “XYZ” school lines. According to local schools this problem is more common than you think. In many cases, angry parents have named their REALTOR® as being responsible for this error.
Let’s face it, the lines for certain schools are very confusing, particularly around the First Flight district. It also does not help that major websites such as Zillow & Trulia include school information under listings which may or may not be accurate. In fact, this was such a problem that our MLS Committee approved a motion to eliminate the school district fields in Paragon on April 3rd, 2012.
While it may seem like a minor inconvenience to some, this error can have serious ethical and legal ramifications if you are not careful. Did you know that this error could result in losing your real estate license? According to Article 1 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS®, “When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client”. In addition, in Article 2, “REALTORS® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction.” So, if your clients wanted a home in the “XYZ” school zone and they ended up in the “ABC” school zone because you neglected to do your due diligence, they can file an ethics complaint against you. According to Stephanie Walker, Owner/Broker of Stephanie Walker & Associates, and past chair and current member of NAR’s Professional Standards committee, you can even find yourself before the Real Estate Commission and/or be sued civilly.
So where are these school lines? Click HERE to find the zones for Dare County elementary schools. While all the districts can be a little tricky, First Flight Elementary School vs Nags Head Elementary School are the most complex. Click HERE for a detailed map of the school lines between both schools. You may also Click HERE for a detailed map of the school lines between Nags Head Elementary and Kitty Hawk Elementary. And remember, not all school lines follow specific roads (i.e. Kitty Hawk).
Most importantly, be aware that while Paragon does not list school districts, other real estate websites do. Unfortunately, those websites carry a higher error rate which can be misleading to both you and your clients! It is your job to represent your client’s interests accurately so when in doubt contact Dare County Schools at 252-480-8888.
(Information gathered and submitted by OBAR MLS Tech, Leah Holmes)