One of the best things about a home can be living next to wonderful neighbors. Unfortunately, neighbors can also be a source of dissatisfaction with a home or neighborhood.
From loud noises to barking dogs and trash-filled yards, some neighbors can have an impact on property value and can deter potential buyers. When buyers tour homes, they are making note of more than just the house – they are assessing their potential neighbors as well.
The discussion about neighbors and the community is an important conversation to have with your clients in the beginning of the relationship. Understand your clients wants and needs and help them find not only the home of their dreams, but the neighborhood of their dreams.
What Sellers Can Do
Sellers should talk with the owners of neighboring properties. Let them know they are selling the home and want to present the neighborhood in the best light possible.
Make sure to let your sellers know that they should not conceal real problems or create a facade during showings. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t work with their neighbors to help get not only their home show-ready, but the neighborhood as well.
Sellers are likely packing up their own belongings and trashing collected junk. They can offer to allow the neighbors to use their collection bin for free to dispose of their unwanted items that have become an eye sore in the yard.
If sellers are working on their own landscaping, they can buy a nice outdoor potted plant for the neighbors to place on their doorstep. They can also offer to help them tend their yard if interested.
What Buyers Can Do
Help your clients do their homework on the neighborhood. Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day with them so they can see what kind of night atmosphere exists. Encourage them to take time to walk around the neighborhood.If neighbors are outside, talk to them.
And agents, remember, don’t ever put your desire to sell the home before your obligation to let your client know everything you can about a neighborhood.
General Neighbor Relations Tips for All
Clients already moved in and then discover a problem? Share these tips with them.
1. Let the neighbors know about the situation and how it is causing a disturbance. It could very well be that your neighbors don’t realize the issue. By giving them the benefit of the doubt, you will be kinder in your approach, as well as received on a good note.
2. If your neighbors are hard to contact by phone or won't answer their door, send them a short note.
3. Addressing the issue is the first step. As a priority, offer to compromise and offer solutions as well. This shows that you have thought this through and understand that to peacefully co-exist, both parties must be willing to do some work.
4. Be informed. Know the ordinances and regulations on noise, trash and curfews that govern your homeowner's association, municipality, county and/or state. Often times, if a home is in an HOA managed community, the association can handle the issue.
5. Don't forget the golden rule. If you want good neighbors, you should be one too. By approaching the issues with empathy and understanding, you are most likely to have a successful dialogue and solution.