By: Alex Capozzolo
As a real estate professional, selling a house in a noisy neighborhood is challenging. All types of buyers, from families to older couples to single people, are concerned about noise levels. Whether there’s a loud highway nearby or noisy next-door neighbors, are often deterred by the thought of living in a place that doesn’t offer peace and quiet. From the perspective of a listing agent, you want to do everything in your power to make sure the home sells, of course. And that means diffusing any potential roadblocks that you foresee. The goal is to tackle the issues sooner rather than later to make sure things are smooth-sailing once it’s time to start showing the home. This might mean interacting directly with the noisy neighbors, which is the last resort, but being proactive can ultimately save a sale.
Here are several actionable tips that you can use while trying to sell a house in a noisy neighborhood.
Talk to the Neighbors
Being direct and talking to the neighbors is one of the most effective ways to reduce the noise levels in a particular neighborhood. There’s a chance they aren’t even aware of how loud they are being. Simply giving them a heads up could immediately fix the problem. Even if they don’t bring down their noise levels entirely, you can at minimum ask that they stay quiet during particular parts of the day. This way, you can schedule open houses and showings around times that they are quiet.
It’s important to note that safety is key here, so feel out the situation as well. If you feel unsafe at any time, do not approach the neighbors directly. Take other measures to improve the sound barriers inside the home or schedule showings when the neighborhood is quieter. If you decide to talk to the neighbors and things escalate, make sure you have a plan in place to protect yourself. It’s also a good idea to bring someone with you so that you’re not confronting the neighbors alone.
Soundproof the House
Soundproofing a house can help limit the noise that occupants might experience from things like a noisy highway, school or nearby church. It is true that soundproofing comes at a cost, but if it helps sell the home and brings up the value of the home, it might be worth it. Fencing is one option that is low-cost, adds value and helps decrease neighborhood noise. You can advise your sellers to build a low-cost wooden fence around the property to block noise from the highway. If the noise is pretty distracting and the sellers are open to it, you could also suggest a noise-canceling concrete fence in the backyard. Another option is to replace the current walls in particular rooms with thick drywall. Certain windows, like those that are double-pane and laminated windows, work well when it comes to keeping out unwanted noise.
Some of these options are more expensive than others, and big changes like windows likely involve permitting. Here’s where you let your expertise shine, though. Take into account the noisy issues the seller is facing and offer several suggestions to improve on the issue. Based on your seller’s timeline and budget, you can help them come up with an option that could improve the situation.
Schedule Showings During Quiet Times
If you are selling your house with noisy neighbors, schedule showings during quieter times of the day. This strategy isn’t a guaranteed way to deal with noisy neighbors, because there’s some tact and luck involved to have it work successfully. For example, you will need to know the exact times that neighbors are loud, which is information you might not have. If you do though, consider hosting open houses around these times. Do your best to avoid bringing buyers through during parts of the day that you know your neighbors are louder. If you’re wondering how to deal with noisy neighbors when selling a house, this strategy can be used in conjunction with others. As loud as your neighbors can be, there is hope!
Create a Virtual Tour
If fixing or canceling out the noise aren’t options, consider ramping up your digital marketing for this particular home. Agents can generate more interest through digital marketing efforts for a listing, such as virtual tours. Fortunately, you cannot hear the neighbors on a 3-D virtual walkthrough of a home. Of course, interested buyers will most likely want to walk through the property before officially buying it. However, the more interest that you can generate, the more likely it is to get an offer that works for your sellers. Get creative with your technology and marketing efforts when trying to sell a house in a noisy neighborhood.
If you know that some aspect of a neighborhood is noisy and buyers are asking, it’s important to be honest, but you can do so while still focusing on the features that make the home a great fit. You can also focus on any specific upgrades the homeowner made with regard to noise. At the end of the day, the goal is to help your seller move their home and do so with integrity.
Alex Capazollo is the co-founder of Brotherly Love Real Estate. He has been investing in real estate for +7 years and owns a small portfolio of 14 units. Alex works full-time as a real estate agent in Southern California and enjoys writing on home improvement, marketing strategies, and other real estate topics.