Do You Have Bad Neighbours?

16 February 2019

Moving house is a part of life as an adult. According to research, 46% of Australians aged fifteen and over move at least once while 19% move twice and 17% move three times. 11% of people who can’t settle are willing to up sticks and leave five times or more.

As a homeowner or renter, the thought has popped into your head since you’ve been living at your current residence, but there could be a problem. It's the neighbours.

Selling a house isn’t only down to the owners; you need to rely on other people. Sadly, as nice as they may be, the people next door are loud or intrusive or very untidy. A potential buyer takes one look at them and has one conversation and they are ready to see another listing. Nobody wants to live next to nightmare neighbours for the foreseeable future, not with all the sums involved.

To get your home off the market quickly, it’s essential to deal with the problems they pose. Thankfully, whatever they are, it is possible to find quick and easy solutions that won’t impact the sale of your home. 

To find out more about bad neighbours and property sales, carry on reading and check out the advice below.

Sit Down And Talk

Realtors swear by this rule as the majority of people are kind and understanding. Indeed, they may not even know there is a problem until you sit down for a chat and hash things out. 

The good news is that there is no need to be confrontational or to make it seem as if they annoy or frustrate you. Savvy sellers blame it on the market or the high-maintenance of the people coming to view the property. Saying something to the effect of “it doesn’t bother us but” shows them you’re on their side and aren’t the enemy.

Also, try and compromise with them so that it doesn’t feel as if they’re in the dock. For example, you may find that they are noisy at night. However, if you’re on different schedules, they may think the same about you in the mornings. By agreeing to be less noisy, the chances are they will return the favour.

Always keep the discussion on an even level and never accuse anybody of anything. This only causes friction and makes people less likely to change meaning there won’t be a quick solution any time soon.

Pitch In When Necessary

“If it’s their house then it’s their problem” is a motto that lots of neighbours believe in; however, it’s short-sighted. While their property belongs to them, how it appears to people on the street impacts its value. Homes that are cluttered and untidy make the area look like a less desirable place to live and that ruins your chances of a sale.

In a society where a great first impression is everything, helping yourself is the answer. Sure, it may make your life harder and add on menial tasks that aren’t your problem, yet in the long run, it will help you achieve your dream of moving. And, that’s the big picture. So, if you get rid of your rubbish regularly, ask your neighbour if they need anything throwing away. Or, see if they want their lawn mowing while you’re doing your own as kerb appeal has a big impact on buyers.

Don’t go overboard and let them take advantage. Instead, analyse the areas where their tardiness lets the neighbourhood down and find a simple solution. Remember that it’s only for a little while because you’ll soon be in your dream home, aka moving on out of there!

Hold Strategic Viewings

By now, you will be familiar with their timings and patterns. The stuff they do which is annoying should occur at roughly the same time each day. Take loud noises as examples. In the morning or early afternoon, they’re not too noticeable because you’re not trying to chill out or sleep. At night, they are a huge problem.

With that in mind, plan your viewings around the neighbours so that they seem less nightmarish. If they work nights, organise an open house as early as possible while they are still asleep. Or, if the dog barks like crazy in the early hours, set it for the afternoon when it’s been out for a walk and done its business. Even when you’ve spoken and compromised, it may be better to avoid them altogether. It’s nothing personal; it’s just that they and the buyer may not click. If this happens, kiss goodbye to the sale.

Anybody worried about being honest should remember the buyer has to do their due diligence. There is nothing in the law that compels you to tell them about their quirks so don’t be forthcoming if they don’t ask. If they do, you shouldn’t lie but you also don’t have to go into vivid detail. It's a common trick for renters as well, so if you're viewing a house for lease maybe pop back at a few different times of the day to suss things out.

Never Assume Anything

You might be able to see their property standing out like the ugliest thumb in the world and judge them. They must be lazy or not care about their home like everybody else on the street. Although it is the first conclusion you will come to, that doesn’t make it correct. Remember: you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.

Therefore, rather than assuming anything you should talk to them face-to-face. Without bringing up the yard or the state of the garden, speak about how things are going and life in general. What you may find is that they have had an illness or are going through rough times financially and that’s why the house is a bit of a mess. One visit will tell you whether the issue is a long-term or short-term one and if you need to have a conversation at all.

Plus, you’ll get to bond and will have a friend on your side for the future and that’s always a bonus. Rather than assuming, you should confirm your suspicions so that you don’t have to confront them at all or without all of the information.

How do you deal with bad neighbours? What are your secrets?
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