Don’t Underestimate “The Neighbor Factor” When Selling a House

We know that the three most important factors for a successful real estate sale are location, price and condition.  While the seller can make changes to the price and condition of a property to hasten a sale,  no one can amend the location.

What happens when the location of the house itself is desirable, but the neighbors are not?  neighbor-forces-sale

Everyone has a story.  The neighbors who don’t mow their weed-infested yard.  The RV parked in the driveway year-round.  The garbage cans left out for days after pick-up.  The home improvement project that was never finished.  The incessant barking dogs.  The company van.  The boat.  The used cars for sale.  The dumpster.  The broken garage door.  The loud parties.

The smart buyer will scope out the neighborhood before making an offer.  If a house isn’t selling, it may be “The Neighbor Factor” at work.  Here’s where a home stager can help.

tiki bar neighbor

In this photo, furniture placement (specifically, a strategically-placed tree) help to block the view of the neighbor’s backyard, so it’s not the first thing a potential buyer will see when they enter the space.

tik ibar neighbor zoom

It’s only upon closer inspection, or in this case zooming in, that you become somewhat aware of the Tiki Bar in the neighbor’s yard and the novelty signs that are plastered all over his garage.  Home staging assured that the focus was on the great sunroom itself, and didn’t allow the neighbor’s yard to be a distraction.

As the home stager on this project, I was fully prepared to have a little chat with the neighbor and charm him into toning it down by removing the signs from his garage.  We home stagers go to extraordinary lengths to make sure our clients’ properties show in the best possible light, and that includes talking to unruly neighbors.  Unfortunately in this case, I never found the neighbor home to speak to him.  It turns out, however, that I didn’t have to.  This house sold 7 days after being listed on the MLS.

While there isn’t a silk tree large enough to camouflage an RV in an adjoining driveway, a home stager can do wonders to increase your property’s marketability.  We have a large arsenal of tricks at our disposal, including the power of persuasion and the desire to use it!


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