You’ve made the decision to sell, called 3 agents to value and return home one evening to find that your neighbour has a ‘for sale sign’ in their garden.
If they have, what can you do?
Don’t wait until they sell before putting yours on the market – often, property competition is positive, generating more interest and viewings for each homeowner. How many times have you seen a street with lots of sold signs on it? Interest begets interest, and it can actually create a buzz around the area with viewers booking to see more than one property.
Do your homework – you need to find out all you can about the other property, so that you know how well it compares with yours. Does it have a bigger kitchen, but a smaller garden? Has it been decorated more recently than yours? Is it shabby chic to your minimalism style? Look carefully through all the photographs you can find on the agent’s own website and on Rightmove and Zoopla, and try to look at them through a buyer’s eyes. How does your house compare?
Talk to them – if you don’t already know your neighbour, (and hopefully you haven’t fallen out!) then go and talk to them about your properties. If you can both see it as a joint marketing opportunity, you have a much better chance of both getting what you want: a sale. Be as honest and open with your neighbour as you can, and discuss your reason for moving (you better hope you aren’t theirs), timescales, even the price they need. You are much stronger as a united front. If you open up with them, there’s every chance they will do likewise. You could even agree between you not to drop your asking price without first speaking to the other.
Use the same estate agent – if your buyers are likely to be similar, using the same agent means that more often than not, they will book viewings on both houses. A buyer viewing both will not only have a true comparison of both properties, but could well be an invaluable source of feedback for you. If both houses are on the market at the same asking price, a buyer preferring your neighbour’s may be able to highlight any areas your property is lacking, giving you the chance to put these right. Having the same estate agent can help to make the whole viewings process more transparent.
Don’t play a negative bidding war – I’ve put many houses on the market where the neighbour has literally undercut the price the day after it was launched. This doesn’t help either of you and can be a downward spiral.
If they sell before you do – don’t take it personally; it could have been the smallest of things that persuaded the buyers their property was the one for them. And don’t worry, you may find another neighbour has been waiting until they do before they put their home on the market!
If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, then why not drop me an email telling me about your house and I’ll see if I can help. Catch me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Until Next Time
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What to do next: Get your complimentary guide to selling locally