You’ve spruced up the kitchen, made the bathroom into a Zen-like spa. You’ve even given the front door a lick of paint and tidied up the front garden. You’ve done everything right so why are potential buyers refusing to even step over your threshold?
As people arrive for viewings they aren’t just looking at your house but getting their first impressions of the neighbourhood. No-one wants to live next to a neighbour whose idea of exterior up-keep is an old mattress and a pile of burning tires. Although, thankfully, neighbours’ property neglect isn’t usually that extreme, you’ll be surprised by how much next door’s appearance can help or hinder the sale of your house.
Worth Their Weight in Gold, Literally
A recent survey of over 2,000 adults, from findaproperty.com, showed how important good neighbours are when it comes to selling your house. 40% of people reported they would be willing to pay more for a house, if it came with quiet and trustworthy neighbours.
Viewers will make immediate assumptions on the quality of the people next door and the whole neighbourhood, based on the outside of their houses as much as yours.
A Neat Neighbourhood
A recent survey found that 88% of estate agents agreed that a well-kept property next door would increase the value of a property. They estimated an average 12% increase, which equates to an impressive £19,400 at current housing prices. I bet you’re interested now.
The opposite is also true. Almost all estate agents surveyed agreed that an unkempt neighbour’s property would have a negative effect on the value of your house.
A Helping Hand
Whether you’re on the best of terms or only catch glimpses of each other in the mornings, the topic needs to be tackled with diplomacy. If they aren’t selling their house it’s likely they haven’t noticed that their exterior needs attention. Approach them with a letter or a polite visit and explain the situation. Offering to do the work yourself will often make people more amenable to the idea.
Make sure that you don’t sound accusatory, rather that it’s in everyone’s interest to keep the neighbourhood house prices up. If you’re worried about approaching people individually you could try organising a street meeting. Getting enough people involved could have an amazing impact on the appearance of the whole street.
Beware of any complaints
Tenants who live in council owned houses have a responsibility to keep the house and outdoors in a respectable condition. Although this may seem like a good route for some unreasonable neighbours, who are having a negative impact on your sale, be aware that any disputes with the neighbours must legally be declared.
If you complain in writing or report them to an authority this has to be recorded on the Seller’s Property Information Form, or risk being sued by the buyer. Try to communicate problems in a reasonable and tactful manner, considering others’ feelings. Hopefully you’ll find most people will be reasonable, and prove that your neighbours can be extremely helpful to the sale.