Maybe you haven’t even thought about selling your home yet but it’s a possibility in the future. Or perhaps you are getting ready to put your property up for sale but haven’t quite got there yet, or the For Sale has only just gone up in the front yard. Whatever your situation, if a close neighbour has their home up for sale – or has recently sold their property there are lessons to be learned from their experiences.
If the home just down the street – or around the corner – from yours is comparable to yours in some basic ways (square footage, for example), it could give you a great sense of what home prices are really like in your neighborhood. And, on the other hand if the neighbors have put in some strategic upgrades — or even struggled to sell! — there are lessons to be learned there as well. But what is the best way to go about gathering and then utilizing this potentially very useful information? Here are some pointers:
Just Ask – Or Listen
If you are friendly with the neighbours in question than that is a wonderful thing, as you will – hopefully – be able to pick their brains a little. Or, if you are a bit uncomfortable being so direct, which is understandable, – or you really don’t know them very well anyway – if they host an Open House you could attend that and keep a careful ear on the general conversation.
Are people complaining or tutting about features of this home that are actually similar to those in your own? An outdated kitchen or too cramped bathroom perhaps. This is invalauble information as you still have time to address the issue in your own home. The opposite can be true too. If everyone is oohing and ahhing over your neighbour’s deck – and you still only have a gravel patio – that is something you may want to keep in mind too.
If you have yet to make a decision about when to put your home up for sale then your neighbour’s efforts may be a helpful guide. If their home was on the market for just a few weeks and was seemingly snapped right up then the omens may be telling you that making a move to sell now is a great move. If it seems to have been up for sale for months though that may be an indicator of a slow market and you may want to wait.
It’s always beneficial to know how long it takes for your neighbour’s house to sell, especially if their house is similar to yours and I suggest you keep tabs on the following when browsing neighbourhood comps to help you make a decision on selling:
Did the house sell quickly or did it linger on the market for a while?
What was the final selling price?
How close the original asking price was close to the final selling price?
Does it seem like your neighbour came way down on price after a long time on the market?
How your neighbour’s home sold, in regards to price and length of time on the market, compared with other nearby homes that were also sold within the last year or so?
Obviously this is also something a Realtor can help you with and you don’t have to wait until you make a final decision to put the home on the market before contacting one. I personally am more than happy to give homeowners a free – no obligation – home evaluation and offer my honest opinion about their best options.