Real estate agents learn selling points of local schools

“How are the local schools” is a common question that most real estate agents receive from prospective home buyers. To help answer that question, Edmonds School District officials met with local real estate representatives this week.

“This was just an opportunity to reach out and share a little bit more about the district,” Superintendent Kristine McDuffy told those gathered for the Oct. 3 lunch-time meeting. “We know you must get bombarded with questions from families shopping for school districts.”

Because Edmonds is the largest district in the state’s northwest region, McDuffy said, having a comprehensive understanding of the 34-school district can help real estate agents ensure that the schools will meet the needs of families looking for a home.

Kimberlee Armstrong, the district’s executive director of equity and public relations, spoke about her personal experience while working as a principal in the Northshore School District.

“I remember the families that I served in my school would say they chose to buy so their kids could go to Northshore schools,” she said. “Parents are choosing homes for the most part where they want their kids to attend school.”

Armstrong said the pending Lynnwood Link light rail extension and the addition of commercial flights at Everett’s Paine Field both could lead to an increase in residents.

“The City of Lynnwood is expecting a tremendous amount of growth,” she said.

Some agents expressed concern about showing bias or favoring one school district over another. Armstrong referred them to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for lists of graduation rates and demographic data for all school districts, which they can present to potential clients.

Some of those attending Wednesday said the meeting was beneficial for realtors who had not considered making the school district a major talking point when holding an open house.

Marilyn Irwyn, of Windermere Real Estate in Edmonds, was an educator in the Edmonds School District for 33 years before becoming a real estate agent. “As a realtor, I seldom mention the school district,” she said. “It is something we should be talking about.”

— Story and photos by Cody Sexton

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