Living next door to the wrong kind of people can create a plethora of problems. It can cause even the most beautiful home in the most serene town to become a nightmare. There are many kinds of “bad” neighbors and a lot of them will have you worrying about whether or not you will be able to sell your home.
Many people have different opinions on what defines a “bad” neighbor. There’s the careless pet owner, the late night partiers, the neighbors who leave their property unkempt, and many more. The number one solution to dealing with a bad neighbor is better communication. Many problems can be resolved by talking them out and bringing them to the attention of others.
Communication and cooperation are key when dealing with difficult neighbors. If you are planning on selling your house, there's a chance that your troublesome neighbors may turn a buyer’s interest away from your property. No one wants to knowingly move in next door to people who could cause problems or annoyances, so you have to try and solve (or diminish) the problem before the sale. Communicating with them in a cordial way will increase the chances of them being more cooperative with you.
There are certain types of neighbors that put home sales at risk. One common example is the “ugly” home next door. This is the neighbor who has given up on mowing the grass, left junk on the front lawn, or just generally let the house go. If your street has a lot of curb appeal, this house will stick out like a sore thumb and catch the attention of your potential buyer. If this is the case, it is important not to be too quick to make assumptions, but to communicate with your neighbor. There could be a serious reason why their yard is in such a state of disrepair. By visiting your neighbor in person, you can quickly learn what is going on and whether it is an issue of sloppiness, or recent tragedy. The best way to deal with this type of situation is to offer your assistance in a respectful way. This shows that you care about the appearance of the neighborhood and that you are on their side. Find affordable ways to clean up your neighbor’s house or yard and come up with a plan. By showing compassion, you will earn your neighbor’s respect and secure their loyalty and cooperation to help ensure a smooth sale.
Another common type of “bad” neighbor is the noisy neighbor. This could be from barking dogs, construction projects, or loud, obnoxious music. These are factors that the buyer will definitely notice and could be a major reason why they do not want to move in. In this scenario, you should try talking to your neighbor about this at a quiet time, not when these sounds are happening. Approach them in an empathetic way and show you care about them. Hopefully they will start to care about you and be more considerate about their noise level. You want to bring up the issues at a good time and in a non-aggressive way.
Then there is the “nightmare” neighbor. This could include anyone who is just problematic to live next to or encounter with. They could be the neighbor that throws outlandish parties, never says anything, or the neighbor that has too much to say and is rude during every interaction you have with them. Of course these types of neighbors will only cause a problem if they do these things during your open house events. In this case, you must be strategic in your planning. If these problems usually occur at night, host a morning event. It is best to try and avoid any possibility of your buyer ever running into them.
It is easy to get mad at neighbors like these, especially when you already have the weight of selling your home on your shoulders. Getting mad is not going to solve anything, but direct communication will. Work with your neighbor to resolve the issues and keep them informed throughout the sales process and when you are having open houses. One way to do this is to frame this part as if you are apologizing for any inconvenience, then slip in a request that they keep their dog inside or keep the noise down. It is best to keep things as friendly as possible and to try to cooperate with these pesky neighbors.
If you want to read more about how to deal with a bad neighbor, take a look at Larissa Runkle’s article HERE.