This is another oldie but goodie, timeless post. I have been asked recently, on more than one occasion, what is the best place to live in the Greater Phoenix area or what is the best area of Scottsdale real estate? That is a loaded question!
Real estate agents should not answer such questions but guide potential buyers to do their own homework. This also gives me the impetus to provide even more information on my website about the areas I work in. I believe buyers should be able to make a decision on where to live based on their personal preferences. But we cannot force our preferences, or opinions, on buyers. We could be accused of "steering," which means promoting areas based on ethnic or racial groups. This could result in punishment of paying hefty fines and even losing our real estate license.
Besides that, we can truly only give our personal opinions on different areas that we know. Our MLS is large and there are towns I have never set foot in, even after being a licensed REALTOR® since 1983. After selling real estate for so long, I still don't know every little detail of every single town or area in the valley and could not give anything more than what I have knowledge of. Like many large areas like Greater Phoenix, most agents stay within a certain distance from where they live.
In fact, because I've been an agent for so many years, I connected with agents all over the world. I really liked an agent located in Mesa and was surprised when she told me she doesn't work in Scottsdale, which is where I wanted to buy. After doing some studying and after living in Scottsdale, I realized that because Mesa is so large and Scottsdale goes far north and south, it could be a long drive for an agent in Mesa.
Some agents will travel all over, but is that good for their buyers? Even though we don't even know every last detail of a specific school or HOA in our own area, a local agent will know more than an agent coming from an hour away.
What Are The Best Valley Schools?
This is basically the same type of question that could get a real estate agent in trouble. Once again, unless an agent has a photographic memory this is just not a question we have factual data for. Also, there can be many different meanings to what the criteria is for "best" from person to person.
Data changes from year to year. Even school boundaries can change. This is an area where a buyer really needs to practice due diligence and get the information themselves. I try to get you as much information as I can, but you might have questions I wouldn't consider asking.
REALTORS Get Tested
I don't think that buyers and sellers realize that real estate agents get tested. Testers can be actual buyers sent out to agents to test how they treat different buyers. These kinds of questions might also be asked to test our response. Even if I knew the answers to these types of questions, which I don't, I would not risk my long-standing license to give an answer that is nothing more than a personal opinion.
Where Can You Find the Answers?
Our MLS is huge so I don't offer information on every single area that it encompasses, although I do offer most Greater Phoenix MLS listings on my website. The towns and areas I specialize in are in the more northern areas like Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, North Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and all of Scottsdale. You can see my Featured Neighborhoods on the home page of this site.
If you ask the question about the best city/town or best school to an agent that gives you an answer then beware. That is not a well-trained agent and might not be in the business much longer. And don't get angry with an agent that refuses to give you an answer. That is an agent that is professional and follows our standards of ethics and the law.
Here are some quick links to get you started on your search:
You can find many different statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and my favorite source is their Quick Facts where you can enter the town you're interested in. The state page starts here, although you might have to type "Arizona" in the box, or any city you're interested in.
There are many different school search sites. Great Schools seems to be most popular as they give each school a score, but there are many more - do a Google search.
If you have the areas you're interested in you can create your home search by clicking the link.Posted by Judy Orr on