“Blockbusting. Even the name sounds as nefarious as the action. The term is used when real estate agents try to pressure someone to sell their property — usually under market value — by intimating (or outright claiming) that changes in neighborhood demographics will destroy their property values.
Some residents in Rockland County say it’s happening. Some have commented on social media about aggressive Realtors repeatedly coming to their homes. In response to residents’ concerns, some municipalities have created “no knock” laws that restrict solicitors from visiting homes.
But is blockbusting, or some other form of harassment, happening here? State lawmakers are gathering information from residents as they call on New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado to hold a public hearing to determine if blockbusting is occurring in Rockland. The secretary of state could take action, including instituting a “nonsolicitation zone” that would ban door-to-door solicitation by real estate professionals.
The state Department of State, which licenses real estate associates and Realtors, should follow through with a full investigation. If undue pressure is being put on residents, then Rosado must put a stop to it.
The secretary of state can adopt an order that would ban all solicitation of homeowners if there is proof that residents are “subject to intense and repeated solicitations” that have “caused owners to reasonably believe that property values may decrease because persons of different race, ethnic, social or religious backgrounds are moving or are about to move into the neighborhood or geographic area.”
Click here for the full text of the editorial and the LoHud videotape of a discussion of the issue with Ken Zebrowski, Ellen Jaffee, and David Carlucci.