3 Things You Can Learn When Your Neighbors Sell Their Home

Studying up on neighborhood home sales can help you when you’re ready to sell your home.

There’s a lot to be learned from your neighbor’s home sale. If the home down the street 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. But if the neighbors have put in some strategic upgrades — or even struggled to sell! — there are lessons to be learned there as well.

1. Be a nosy neighbor at open houses

If you’re friendly with your neighbors, you might be able to get the inside scoop by asking what kind of reactions they’ve been getting to their home. Or better yet, ask if you can attend their open house. Take note of the feedback you hear. For example, if you have the same outdated built-in kitchen desk as your neighbor (used for writing checks and holding a corded landline), you might want to start putting away your pennies now so that you can transform this feature into more coveted counter space with storage underneath (maybe even a wine fridge?). Or your neighbor might tell you that buyers are disappointed when they discover the enormous 1980s whirlpool tub taking up prime bathroom real estate. As long as you have a bathtub somewhere in the home, consider turning your own seldom-used supertub into a walk-in shower.

2. How long should a home be on the market?

In a hot real estate market, a home could sell in a matter of days. In a more stagnant market, it could take as long as six months for a home to sell. It’s beneficial to know how long it takes for your neighbor’s house to sell, especially if their house is similar to yours.  Keep tabs on the following when looking at neighborhood comps:

  • Whether the house sold quickly or lingered.
  • The final sale price.
  • Whether the asking price was close to the selling price.
  • Whether there was a need to come way down on price after a long time on the market.
  • Whether urgency by the sellers led to a lower price (career move or financial distress).
  • How your neighbor’s home sale, regarding price and length of time on the market, compared with other nearby homes.
  • What sort of impression the real estate agent made.

One big takeaway from this list is to track the home until the deal is done instead of looking at the listing price and calling it a day. The more important number (by far) is what the house actually SOLD for, not its listing price. Anyone can set a home price; the key is getting that price. The price cannot be considered a valid comp until after it closes.

3. Demographic trends can affect home sales

Neighborhoods sometimes take on a type of persona: young families, retirees, singles, etc. Once you understand the appeal of your neighborhood, you can target certain groups when you’re ready to sell. After you get the 411 on your neighbor’s digs, you should have a pretty good idea of what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re ready to sell your house.

If you’re interested in selling your home in the Las Vegas area, check out our famous “List for 1%” program. We offer full-service listings with professional photos, placement on the MLS and Zillow/Trulia/Redfin/Realtor.com, and a comprehensive marketing plan for 1% instead of the typical 3% (or more!) commission charged by most agents. Call 702.545.0020 to learn more.