When Your Neighbors Hurt Your Potential Sale
How neighbors hurt your home sale
When putting your home on the market, the focus is typically on new paint, a clean interior, curb appeal, repairs, and other ways to give your home an edge over the competition. Most sellers don’t stop to think about their neighbors’ impression on potential buyers.
Unfortunately, according to the Appraisal Institute, rotten neighbors can wrench down the value of your home by as much as 10%.
If buyers find your neighbor’s home unappealing, it can diminish your home’s appeal, no matter how much you’ve done to improve it. But, if you plan ahead, some effort can help ensure your neighbors don’t cost you money on the sale.
Even if you’re not planning to sell now, maintaining a friendly relationship with the neighbors is good practice. It’s not unusual for issues to come up during a sale such as fence repair, retaining walls or easements, which can bring a neighbor into the home sale process.
If you’re considering selling your home in the near future, it’s considerate to give the neighbors a heads-up in advance. If you do need any assistance from a neighbor, it’s easier to approach them if you’ve already given them some notice.
When you’ve got a neighbor who seems to have stopped mowing the lawn, leaves junk piled up out front, or just lets the house go in general, it’s natural to be worried. You never know what the cause of disrepair might be; maybe they are ill, depressed, or falling on hard times. By visiting your neighbor, you may better understand what’s going on.
Find out the most affordable way to help spruce up your neighbor’s house and make a plan – possibly recruiting some other neighbors or doing it yourself. Compassion can go a long way towards earning your neighbor’s respect and securing their cooperation during the sale.
“Sometimes they may have cars parked in front of, or alongside your house, making it difficult for potential buyers to see the for-sale sign,” Bobbi Price with The Platinum Group, Realtors said. You may need to talk with them about keeping that area clear.
Whether it’s barking dogs, loud music, noisy construction, or other things that disturb your peace and quiet, potential buyers will probably notice. Trying to have a friendly, courteous chat from the start is a necessary step.
Don’t waylay your neighbor with a complaint while it’s happening. Approaching them during a calm and relaxed time, in an empathetic way, indicates you care and hopefully they’ll care too. Noise complaints often arise when people are on different schedules, so it might be that they find you annoying as well.
Whoever your neighbor is, or whatever offense they’ve committed, starting with direct communication should always be a first step. Then, try to keep the lines of communication open throughout the sale.
Work with your neighbor to resolve issues, butter them up with homemade treats, and keep them informed about open houses, contractors who will be on and off the property, or other disruptive events. Apologize for any inconvenience and maybe slip in a request that they keep their dog inside or keep the noise down.
“Sometimes if there is a conflict with a neighbor, the seller has to get the HOA involved (if there is one),” Price said. “We had to take a house that we took off the market because the next-door neighbor put up a fence and it was on the seller’s property and not the neighbors. We did have to have the HOA get involved. That’s a last resort, but it might have to be used.”
Advice and guidance from a respected, established real estate expert can also be a significant help in many challenging situations during a home sale. A professional who has plenty of experience can often recommend just the right tips for handling a variety of circumstances.
The Platinum Group, Realtors are ranked as the number one independent real estate firm in Colorado Springs. Bringing together the top agents in the Pikes Peak region, The Platinum Group provides home buyers and sellers with Platinum Service and Platinum Results to help offer some peace of mind during a stressful process.