5 Ways Neighbours Can Sabotage Your Home Sale And How To Handle Them!

Its taken a few months, money you don't really have and lots of blood, sweat and tears but you have finally got your house ready to list.  Woohoo!!!!! Congrats.  


Have you given any thought to your neighbours?  

Perhaps you are blessed with those perfect neighbours we all love, the ones who cut your grass while cutting theirs just because, the ones who save your recyling bin from escaping down the street, the quiet, respectful wonderful neighbours who gift you with a basket of warm home made muffins from time to time, because they made too many!!!!! 

No???  Your neighbours are not like that at all? Ok so lets take a look at the "OTHER" type of neighbour, identify the one that you live next door or opposite to and then look at ways to handle them because lets face it, a neighbour can make or break your home sale.

  • The Nosy Neighbour
Having a healthy interest in one’s neighbour is great – who better to look after your property from time-to-time by removing any newspapers or put out the garbage cans while you’re on vacation or gone for those long weekends, than a helpful neighbour!  However, having somebody keeping an eye out at the most abnormal early or late times, just to get the latest scoop on what’s happening around them, is just wrong. 

Solution: If possible, you might need to have a subtle, polite but serious chat with your neighbour, explaining how you have been advised by your agent (yes blame it on me!!!) on how important it is for ONLY the real estate agent to do the talking with any interested buyer. 

  • The Noisy Neighbour
There are many variances on the noisy neighbour: ranging from doing garden work at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning, to the loud parties on a Saturday night, to working in the garage late at night and dogs that seem to be left in the back yard for hours barking!

Solution: A lot of times, these neighbours might not necessarily realize how much noise they’re making, and having a proper conversation explaining what’s been happening might already defuse the situation completely.

  • The Messy Neighbour
Have you ever seen an episode of Hoarders?  While I’m not saying all messy neighbours are messy to that extent, it’s not unusual to find collectors around you, who use their front and back garden to ‘temporarily’ store their belongings.

Solution: Once you know you will be selling your home, perhaps the best way forward would be to approach your neighbour and explain how you’d like to present your home in the best possible manner, again tell them that your agent has advised you to speak with them and that even though you don't mind the sofa on the front garden, your agent thinks it might perhaps scare away interested home buyers.

If that doesn't work, knowing the situation with your neighbour may affect your sale, think about spending some money to clean it up yourself (with their permission of course!) and/or suggest paying for storage or put everything in a garage where the neighbour can still access their belongings.  This is definitely a tough situation to find yourself in so at the end of the day, be understanding, kind and try to come to some sort of agreement with your neighbour.  

  • The Absent Neighbour
Perhaps caused by a bankruptcy, the neighbouring house is now standing empty and has done for months, any maintenance of the property is pretty much non-existent.  Regardless of how eye-catching your property might be, what's happening next door will absolutely turn off any potential buyer.  

Solution: Perhaps make a phone call to the City and see whether they can help or you can do the very basic exterior maintenance by mowing the front lawn and making sure any newspapers or advertising folders get cleaned up.  Small effort on your part is in your best interest.  

  • The Nasty Neighbor
Fingers crossed you don't have this type of neighbour but some of us I guess are blessed with that neighbour that perhaps verbally abuses you or threatens you when you politely ask them to maybe stop their dog from barking in the garden at 11pm every night or having bonfires in their garden in an sub division that its illegal and dangerous to do so. Your requests are reasonable but their responses are not.  
Solution: You need to involve your local police. Individual incidences need to be reported to strengthen any potential legal case in the future. But more importantly you have a duty to inform any interested buyers of this ongoing process.  This will likey scare them away.

As with so many things in life, it’s how you respond to a certain situation which will determine its final outcome.  Be calm, be kind and seek advice and help from professionals and people in authority if necessary - fingers crossed your neighbours are decent and none of the above is of concern to you.