There are many things you can control during the home-selling process, but there are also a lot you can't. One such thing is the neighbors, and if they are bad neighbors, you might have your hands full.
Neighbors can be a problematic part of the selling process because when people buy a home, they aren't just making an investment in the property—they're making an investment in the neighborhood. You could be selling the perfect house in the perfect area, but crummy next-door neighbors could be an insurmountable deal-breaker for potential buyers.
To help you make the sale, the following are four ways you and your clients can work together to properly deal with bad neighbors:
1. Ask Them to Quiet Down
If the neighbors are noisy, you may want to simply ask them to quiet down. People sometimes don't realize how loud they really are and need only a gentle reminder to keep their noise levels in check. However, if the loud sounds from next door don't stop, you may need to disclose the nuisance to potential buyers, depending on the laws that govern your area.
2. Tell Them Your Clients Are Trying to Sell Their Home
In some cases, simply telling neighbors your clients are trying to sell their home will be enough to get them to stop any problematic behavior. For example, if they have a loud dog or other troublesome pet, they may be inclined to bring the animal indoors if you inform them of an impending home sale or open house.
3. Encourage Sellers to Help Out With Yard Work
Some neighbors simply don't want to maintain their lawns or yards. Although it shouldn't be your clients' responsibility, offering to help out with yard work is a generous offer that may spur bad neighbors into action. However, if the neighbors don't pitch in, your clients may just have to do it themselves (with permission, of course). Have your clients think of it this way: If their home doesn't sell for top dollar because of a neighbor's unsightly lawn, the time they spend helping out will be well worth the return on investment.
4. Help Fix Eyesores
According to Joe Magdziarz, president of the Appraisal Institute, "a nearby property's overgrown yard, peeling paint, and clutter can easily knock 5 percent to 10 percent off the sale price of your home." Therefore, if it's a matter of getting a fence painted, a deck repaired, or clutter stored in a shed, advise your clients to go for it (again, with permission). A little investment now can mean more money for the home in the long run.
Although having bad neighbors is not an ideal situation for home sellers, it can be managed when handled carefully. Encourage your clients to be kind and patient and to not overstep their bounds. If you simply ask and the neighbors do cooperate, you'll be better situated to get the home off the market in a timely manner.