PropertyProf Blog

Editor: Stephen Clowney
Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Outlawing "Fake" Neighborhoods

Real Estate agents are a devious lot - mandating 6% commissions, failing to tell buyers that their legal duty often runs to the seller, pretending that a property is in a safer or more desirable neighborhood and demanding a higher price.  Boo.

Some real estate agents are even more aggressive, inventing entirely new neighborhood names for "up and coming" areas.  South Harlem becomes SoHa. The area "down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" becomes DUMBO. The place downwind of the sewage treatment plant becomes Dowisetrepla.

Finally, the anti-Real Estate Agent Brigade has a hero.  According to the New York Times, "State assemblyman, Hakeem Jeffries, is writing legislation that would punish real estate agents for inventing neighborhood names and for falsely stretching their boundaries. It would also require that name changes get city approval."

Obviously, the regulation here is impractical - neighborhood borders are notoriously difficult to define and they change over time (see this map of Manhattan neighborhoods). Moreover, the whole process would be subject to easy capture by agents. 

Nonetheless, anyone willing to stand up to the real estate cabal deserves some praise.  And, as Mr. Jeffries notes, “Neighborhoods have a history, culture and character that should not be tossed overboard whenever a Realtor decides it would be easier to market under another name.”

Steve Clowney

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/property/2011/04/outlawing-fake-neighborhoods.html

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Comments

What a moronic statement - and attempt at a law. No "new" neighborhood name is worth a plug nickel unless the RESIDENTS of said neighbirhood adopt and USE it.

Without residents acceptance no name will have any meaning.

Further - the monikers this talks about are often for "areas" - not new names for a particular existing geographic boundary - it can be a smaller part of a larger area of a combination of parts of several areas.

As the story notes - many of these are not accepted - some are ...

I didn't need to even open the story to know this was in it "a Brooklyn Democrat"... pretty much tells us what to expect - not enough real problems to address - they have to invent silly crap like this

Posted by: A former Realtor | Apr 23, 2011 1:16:49 AM

Thanks for your perspective. I would suggest that any new homebuyer research the neighborhood beyond the agents suggestions. They are a good starting point to give you the basics of the neighborhood but asking around to fellow neighbors in addition to friends and family is probably the best research.

Michael

Posted by: Michael | May 2, 2011 9:17:31 AM

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