How to Enlist Neighbors to Help Sell Your House
Home sellers only have a limited amount of control when listing properties for sale. One uncontrollable factor is your neighbors. Nearby homes can make or break a house sale, so it is crucial that you work with neighbors while your home is on the market. Here are six tips on how to enlist neighbors to help sell your house and hopefully get it to the closing table in record time.
Be Transparent with Information
When a “For Sale” sign shows up on a lawn, it tends to spark a lot of curiosity among neighboring homeowners. Go ahead and share as much positive information with them as possible.
Some home sellers create a simple flyer for neighbors that includes square footage, updates made to the home and other improvements. Include a Zestimate, which shows the estimated value of neighboring homes near yours. Gently remind neighbors that nearby properties affect the overall value of the block which buyers consider when shopping for homes.
In the flyer, encourage neighbors to share the information with friends who are looking for homes. After all, your buyer could be your next door neighbor’s best friend.
Foster Relationships in Your Neighborhood
You might be moving out, but now that you are selling your home, you should make every effort to cement or repair any relationships with people in your vicinity. Homebuyers often walk up to the houses near yours to meet neighbors and ask questions about the neighborhood. How those neighbors respond to these types of inquiries can encourage an offer or discourage one.
These relationships can be helpful in other ways, too. For example, if one neighbor has a dog that barks constantly while outside, you can notify the person each time you have a showing and request they put the dog inside for an hour. Follow up those requests with dog treats to thank the owner each time they help you out.
Offer Incentives for Referrals
Consider offering your neighbors a high-dollar gift certificate to Home Depot or a similar home improvement store for a referral that leads to the purchase of your home. Keep the terms simple and clear, such as: Refer the actual buyer of our home and we will give you a gift certificate to ABC store when the bank funds their purchase.
Create simple business-sized referral cards and pass them out to all your neighbors. Tell them to have their friends present it to your agent. Hopefully, one of the leads ends up at the closing table.
Host a Block Cleanup Party
Low-value homes decrease the values of other homes on the same block. Before listing your home for sale, plan and host a cleanup of your immediate block. Provide an easy barbecue lunch with drinks to ease the pain of cleaning, and tout the event as a friendly get together to attract as many neighbors as possible.
During the event, hand out a “cleanup ideas” sheet and offer prizes to make the occasion as much fun as possible. If your neighborhood uses spray painted house numbers on the curb, spring for number templates and spray paint to encourage a fresh set of numbers in front of every home. A cohesive look can impress even the pickiest buyer.
Pay for Improvements
Help neighbors who might need extra effort to improve your home’s curb appeal. Some might need help mowing the lawn; others might need new flowers or plants to trim the driveway. Be tactful in your approach and never insist someone else use your contractor or landscaper.
However, you can certainly offer to pay for someone to mow the lawn, pull weeds or trim trees. Always keep in mind that the time or money you spend on a neighbor’s house could result in a quicker sale of your own home, so it is at least worth the effort to make the offer.
Set Up a Special Open House
Let’s face it: Nearly all your neighbors are curious to see what your house looks like on the inside. Take advantage of that curiosity and ask your agent to set up a mid-week, afternoon, or early evening open house for neighbors only.
Include snacks and drinks, plus be sure your home is child-friendly. People will be more likely to wander over for a look if they can bring their children along. Be sure you attend the event with your agent; adding that personal touch to the event will leave a positive impression of your home for those who show up.
Your agent might gain a new client or two while you might find someone right on your block so enamored with your home that he or she will recommend it to co-workers or family members. Plus a little neighbor buy-in helps as wandering home shoppers visit the neighborhood on open house days – they feel more involved in the mission. The sale of your home can go quickly if you enlist all the help you can get.
Thank you to Tali Wee for graciously sharing her expertise on this article on how to enlist neighbors to help sell your house!
Additional Selling Your Home Resources
Dealing with Bad Neighbors When Selling A Home by Bill Gassett
Selling Your Home Quicker Than Your Neighbors from Andrew Fortune
200+ Reasons Why Sellers Need a Realtor via SlideShare
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