Neighbors, we all have them. Some of them are great, some of them are not so great, some of them just stay out of your way, and some of them are just annoying. A great neighborhood is one that is friendly but also clean and quiet. Each home is unique just as each neighbor is different. While you can get a home inspected before buying it, you cannot determine how a neighborhood is going to be, especially if you are new to an area. Will the neighbors be nice, quiet, respectful, clean or will they be noisy, messy and create issues you would rather avoid?
Your neighborhood will have a major impact on not only your property value, but your success in selling your home. People know what a good neighborhood is like, and they also know what it means to have great neighbors. You can see it immediately in the care of the houses and the yards. If they are all cared for, you know that the neighborhood is doing well and people respect their homes. If there are properties that are in poor condition, it will impact the value of your home, even if you have done your part in maintaining the property and keeping it in the best possible condition. If you are not confident that your neighborhood is benefiting your values, there are some things you can do, starting with your immediate neighbors.
Let Your Neighbors Know You’re Selling
If you decide to sell, you need to let your neighbors know. If you do not speak with them often, leave a letter in their mailbox letting them know that you are about to list the property and provide your contact information. Your goal is to create a communication that allows you to get help from your neighbor in an effort that will raise both your property values. You do not want to be pushy, you are basically asking for a favor because while this will benefit the other house, if the other house is not interested, you cannot push them into doing it. Going with kindness is the best and only way to get help from those who live in your area.
This is also a great opportunity to start implementing your goals and needs for this process. What do you need done on the immediate properties that are surrounding your home that can improve your value? You are not going to pay for someone to get their roof repaired, but you can offer assistance or help cover the cost for things that may need to be done including replacing a fence, cutting down or trimming trees, fixing a driveway or something else. Let them know what you need done and by being upfront, you can also present them with an opportunity to upgrade their property.
Show Them Appreciation
A quiet neighbor is a great neighbor and if this is the first time you have ever spoken with them, you have the opportunity to show them appreciation for being so great. They have never bothered you, they have kept their property clean within reason, they maintain the same type of property you do and they do it without increasing your responsibilities or lowering your property value. Appreciate that and let them know it when you are communicating with them. Your goal is to get this person to allow you to help them make improvements on their property to benefit you. You need them on board with these ideas and also to offer them more than just a benefit in their property values.
In many cases, poor property care is related to lower income and if that is the case with your neighbors, you are not going to be able to motivate them into making renovations that will only cost them money now. No amount of property value will cover money they do not have to spend right now and if that is the situation you are dealing with, you are going to have to look for alternative options that will work for both sides. In the case of a fence, the choice is obvious where you cover the cost of the fence, and simply inform your neighbor that you are having a new fence installed. This is your chance to offer other assistance that may benefit you and your property before you try to sell it.
Cover The Costs
How much money are you going to clear when you sell your home, if you get fair market value or near the asking price? Consider those numbers when asking yourself if the cost of the fence and some new plants is worth covering if it helps improve your property value? No, you are not installing a new roof and a pool in your neighbors yard, but if the cost of the fence is $10,000 and the cost to improve your yard and theirs is another $1,000 then why not offer to cover the cost for all of it as a way to not only show appreciation, but to make up for the inconvenience this will create for them, even if it doesn’t. Why not cover those costs if it not only makes it easier for you to sell your home at the price you want, but helps with the transition to the buyer?
A couple of visits to a house will start to give you an idea of whether or not a person has good neighbors. You want your neighbors to be sad that you are leaving because you were so great, but also say great things about you, the property and also the area. Neighbors can sell a property as much as a good realtor and if you can have both on your side, you have a greater advantage of getting what you want out of this deal. Your financial situation and your property will have major impacts in your decisions, which is why you should always consult with a realtor.
Talk To Your Realtor
Is it worth it? Will fixing a fence or replacing it make a difference? Is it worth going through the trouble or should you just list now? If you want to sell your home, you need to take dozens of things into consideration. The best way to know what options are best for you based on your factors is by speaking with a realtor. They will utilize years of experience to give you the best options and guidance with each decision. If you want to sell, your realtor will show you how to do it the right way.