If you’re thinking of selling your home, you need to immediately start preparing your neighbors. Here’s what I mean.

Home appraisals are 5% to 10% lower if you have a so-called “bad” neighbor with an unkempt yard or poorly maintained exterior. That shouldn’t be surprising when you consider that 63% of homebuyers drive by a home before coming for a showing. Make no mistake—these potential buyers won’t just be impacted by the exterior of your home, but by the state of your neighborhood as well.

On the other hand, your neighbors can also be your best friends in selling your home. They can provide you with free advertising, they can promote the neighborhood to inquiring buyers, and they might even actively work with you to help you achieve a higher price.

Here are three tips on working with your neighbors to achieve a faster, more profitable sale.

First, set up a special open house just for your neighbors. Many neighbors will be curious for a peek inside your home. You can make the deal even more enticing by providing some free snacks and drinks. Use this open house as an opportunity to show off your home, as well as to build better relationships with your neighbors so they’ll be more inclined to help you during the sale process.

One way to do this is to be forthcoming with information, including the price you’re aiming for, renovations you’re planning, or showings that might eat up local parking for an afternoon. Get your neighbors involved, ask them for suggestions, and ask them how you can make the process easier for them.

“Your neighbors can be your best friends when selling your house.”

Also, don’t forget to mention that if you are successful in selling your home, this will positively impact the values of all homes in the neighborhood.

Second, organize a neighborhood cleanup party. This is an opportunity to boost the image and value of your entire neighborhood, as well as to further cement good relations with your neighbors. You can also use this as a discreet way to suggest small home improvement projects to your neighbors. Which leads me to the third and final tip.

You can also offer to help with—or even pay for—any upgrades you’d like to see on your neighbors’ homes. For example, if you’re having a landscaping crew come as part of your sale preparations, ask your neighbors with the overgrown lawn if they’d be ok with the landscapers also taking care of their yard for free. These kinds of small investments can be worth thousands of dollars in terms of your final sale price.

If you want to get an estimate of what your home is currently worth without any of these upgrades or you need more advice on dealing with your neighbors in preparation for a home sale, just give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you.