14 October 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Nosy Neighbour (N.N.), Friend or Foe?

For anyone who has walked through an open house of a property listed for sale, you may have encountered directly or overheard a conversation between what you thought was a potential buyer for the property and that of the host real estate agent, which in reality turns out to be that of a curious neighbour.

Yes, nosy neighbours exist, and no, it’s not rude of me (and others in my industry) to label them as such.

A lot of time, effort and expense goes in to prepping a property for sale these days. Way more time than the average person can fathom, which is why the N.N. coming through your open house can be bad for business.

Most neighbours are well intended snoops whom keep to themselves, respectfully identify themselves when asked, and walk through the open house satisfying their curiosity on what their neighbours have kept hidden behind the blinds all those years you’ve lived side by side.

But, there can be problems when a chatty neighbour is walking through and asking the host agent questions about the property, that taken out of context, might reflect badly on the eventual selling price of the home.

Comments even innocent in nature such as the amount of prep and work that went into getting the home ready for sale can slant how a prospective buyer views the value of the property. More damaging comments like…”really, they are asking a million dollars for this place? They’ve only been here five years and haven’t done a thing!”

Years ago that happened to me at an open house I was hosting and the neighbour followed it up by stating “well, I really hope they get it (the million dollars). I mean, it’s good for us I guess, but it’s not like we are moving anytime soon. Who could afford anything at these prices!”


There are so many more examples I could share (maybe one day I will write a book or comedy sketch on this topic?) but the N.N. and the damage that can be caused is very real. There are some neighbours who can help sell the home and area, especially those that mention how much the sellers of the home are going to be missed. Nice people and a close sense of community are good for neighbourhood values.

My parting words are this, and ones in which I often coach my buyer clients on when we are out looking at property. When you are entering someone’s home that is up for sale, whether we come in via a public open house, or private showing, please remember we are guests. Let’s treat the home with respect and let’s save any negative comments that may be had for when we are outside and away from the home. If you’ve never had your home up for sale, you truly don’t know how stressful of a process it can be.

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