Do I Have To Tell About the Neighbors?

Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel Realtors, Pleasanton, CA BRE#01732313

Woman with Hand Over Her MouthWhen speaking with prospective sellers about selling their homes, the topic of disclosures of course always comes up. "Do I have to tell about the neighbors? And while most people have great relationships with others on their block, there are some who have minor annoyances they share, such as:

  • Too many cars parked in front 
  • Unkept yards
  • Garbage cans left out in front of the house 
  • Christmas light left up all year long 
  • RV parking that obstructs a neighbor's view 
  • Trees that overhang into a neighboring yard 
  • Loud parties Barking dogs 

Now some of these things will be apparent to prospective buyers, but others not as much. If something is a material fact about the property it must be disclosed to the buyer. Many a seller has found themselves In a pickle after the fact for failure to disclose. Say for instance that your neighbor has a huge tree with branches that encroach into your yard, and they refuse to properly trim it so that it doesn't create a fire hazard next to your chimney. A buyer would want to know that they either have to work out a satisfactory arrangement with the neighbor, or will have to maintain the tree on their side of the property. (I know of one case where the neighbors had actually been to small claims court to deal with the problem.)

Neighbors are apt to have better relationships if they understand how the things they do affect each others property values. Someday when you are ready to sell your home, what your neighbor does or does not do, can affect the perceived or real value of your home. and if you see that your neighbor has put their home on the market, consider what things you can do to make sure their home is presented in a good light.

After all, one day you may need the same kind of cooperation.


Re-Bloggged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jennifer Spanbauer Brodoway 09/19/2011 05:48 PM
  2. Kathy Schowe 09/19/2011 11:38 PM
  3. Aida Pinto 09/20/2011 02:56 PM
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Comments 42 New Comment

Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca

Yes, you got to spill the the beans every-time and all the time. How you spill may make a difference. Our eyes and ears are what is for sale along with our savvy and promise to protect and take care of our principals. I give people their monies worth even if I don't make anything....If I know something you should will too

September 20, 2011 10:25 AM
Bob Marsh
Broker,480-529-2936, Warm Weather Real Estate
Warm Weather Real Estate

So does it matter if the neighbors wear Depends? Ha, gotcha!  Just kidding. 

Do you advise your buyers to talk to the neighbors prior to closing?

September 20, 2011 12:50 PM
Doug Rogers
Your Pineville Louisiana Agent
Bayou Properties Realty

Nice post! I have had neighbors cost me a deal or two. One kept a refrigerator in his front yard. My listing sold for 10k less than it would have with normal neighbors.

September 20, 2011 01:02 PM
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc.

Karen, Something that cannot be readily observed by a buyer should be disclosed by the seller.

September 20, 2011 03:45 PM
Karen Crowson
Livermore Wine Country Homes
Alain Pinel Realtors, Pleasanton, CA

Jon #32 - sometimes it's a personality clash, but err on the side of conservatism.

Mike #34 - that was me! My kids had a metal band, but with strick guidelines. Flyer to all neighbors with our phone number for any noise complaints, and that the garage door had to be shut at all times. No music at all after 10:00 p.m. Thank goodness our houses were very soundproof - in 5 years we had only 1 complaint.

Bryan #37 - I always tell clients to talk to the neighbors. That way there is no bias, just from the sellers point of view.

Melissa #38 - sounds more like your neighbor, rather than you, is intolerant.

Richie #41 - spot on!

Bob #42 - "Depends" on what they want to know. Many times neighbors seal the deal, telling them how nice it is to live in the neighborhood.

Doug #43 - that stinks, but at least the house finally got sold. Poor seller :(

Sandy - agree wholeheartedly.




September 20, 2011 10:11 PM

Karen Crowson

Livermore Wine Country Homes
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