Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties Real Estate. Tips for home buyers, home sellers by Gita Bantwal,Realtor at Re/Max Centre Realtors.: Sellers do you know what your neighbors tell prospective buyers about your house?Some neighbors can hurt your chances of selling.

Sellers do you know what your neighbors tell prospective buyers about your house?Some neighbors can hurt your chances of selling.

I was out showing homes recently . One of the homes I showed looked  great  and was priced right. The neighbor's house was in poor condition and the buyer was turned off from buying there.

I had shown homes in other communities and the buyer said she preferred homes in the other community because all the homes were well maintained.

This got me thinking about   other times when a person did not buy a home because of what neighbors said or  because of their homes.

I had a listing for rent and it was vacant. The people next door had 2 large Rotweilers. They had them  in their own yard which  was fenced and  adjoining my listing. Whenever I showed the home or when other agents showed the house the feedback was that people were scared as the dogs barked when they went to the back yard. My clients complained to the hoa but it did not help. It was finally rented.

At another time I had buyers who loved a house and were going to make an offer on it. A neighbor was walking by and said he remembered that when the builder built the homes they had water problems in the basement and he had sued the builder and got his house  waterproofed but he did not think the owner of this particular house had it waterproofed. This home had  a finished basement and looked good but was bank owned . We would not get a seller's disclosure .  The buyer decided not to buy though he knew he could get a home inspection.

Then there was a time when I showed a listing and the buyers talked to neighbors who said the house was jinxed because all the people who have owned it  sold because of  divorce. My buyers were superstitious and said no to the house.

A friend of mine had a listing where an elderly woman had died . Some neighbors said that her ghost was still there. It was on the market for a long time and then another agent bought it and had no problems .

When you list a home it is good to talk to next door neighbors and find out what they say  because buyers usually talk to neighbors .


When you read about events please check the year for the event as some people find information a year later and think it is for that year. . The posts remain online even after the event.

Gita Bantwal is a Realtor with RE/MAX Centre Realtors in Bucks County, a Northern suburb of Philadelphia. You can view 1000s of listings on her web site


She can be reached at 215-343-8200x124 or direct 215-275-8491 or via email


 Gita specializes in Active adult communities and is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. She holds the ABR designation (Accredited Buyers Representative) and specializes in selling to first time buyers as well as move up buyers.Gita also hold the CRS designation , Certified Residential Specialist and the CDPE designation as well. Information about real estate market is deemed to be correct but is subject to errors and omissions and should be verified independently.. Opinion expressed by me or others  in my post and comments is not to be construed to be  legal advice.I am licensed in Pa. Check real estate laws in your state as they may be different than in Pa.



Comment balloon 17 commentsGita Bantwal • October 26 2011 04:36PM



you are very right. I call it the 5 second rule. I tell my buyers to meet the neighbors and I promise that within 5 seconds that anything weird or good will be spilled.  Better to find out up front!


Posted by Cathy Criado, Making Real Estate Profitable (Criado Realty ) about 8 years ago

Hi're right.....buyers always talk with neighbors, especially in a new community, to verify the competency of the builder and how well he cooperates with buyers.....resale properties are not as exposed, but neighbors might talk about the neighborhood....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 8 years ago

Ah yes, the neighbor dilemma.  Both good intending and bad intent neighbors can kill a deal with their comments, deeds, or lack of action (maintenance).  Good post Gita.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) about 8 years ago

Neighbors are one of the things you have to love about real estate!  You can not stop them from sharing, but preparing your buyers to take their complaints with a grain of salt often helps you close the deal.  I had one neighbor walk right up to me and my buyers when I was showing a new construction home and she went on and on for fifteen minutes about how bad the builder was.   Luckily, the buyers recognized this was someone who was never happy wiht anything, and they closed on their home and all is well. 

Posted by Mary Ann Daniell Realtor, Delivering Successful Results Since 1999 (Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC ) about 8 years ago

Gita:  N'bors have big mouths.... sellers and buyers both need to be aware that what is being said might just be for revenge - not cause it actually happened.  N'bors can help or they can hinder a sale.  I've had clients speak with their n'bors about keeping yards neat and tidy cause it will  make the sellers home look better. 

Posted by Gwynn Carpenter, : Broker, Home & Hearth Realty (512)467-6191 (Gwynn Teal Carpenter-Broker: Home and Hearth Realty (Austin)) about 8 years ago

Gita - Ah yes, THE NEIGHBORS!!!  They can be a good thing or a bad thing and one never knows until they open their mouth.  Reminds me of the time hubby and I were looking for a home (before we bought our current one).  At one home we saw, the neighbors were very educational and informative about telling us about the yellow house on the corner and who lived there.  I won't go into details but needless to say, we didn't buy that house. 

But when we bought our current home, one of the reasons was the neighbors.  The day we came to see our home was on a weekend and when we pulled onto the street, there were people and kids and animals up and down the street playing and hanging out.  When we got out of our car, people waived to us and kids and dogs ran up to us (we've got three dogs of our own) and greeted us.  They were so nice and they've turned out to be some of the best neighbors I have ever had.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) about 8 years ago

Neighbors think they know everything but in all actuality they don't know swat.  Too bad, thank God that doesn't happen all of the time.  It's a good life.

Posted by Joe Kenny, Better Than Your Average Joe (Realty Executive Midwest) about 8 years ago

Cathy, That is a good rule. I encourage buyers to ask the neighbors questions about the neighborhood.

Barbara,It is a good idea to talk to neighbors about new construction because buyers usually buy from floor plans and  looking at model homes ,

Anita, We should get along with the neighbors for sure.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 8 years ago

Yes this is a factor which is beyond our controls. I was thinking about buying a property and discovered some water in the crawl space. I asked the neighbor about it and found out the property had had a problem since it was built. It also was a bank owned property and I have not moved forward with the transaction.


Posted by Cal Yoder, Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744 (Keller Williams Elite) about 8 years ago

Mary Ann, You were fortunate that your clients did not take it seriously and bought a home there inspite of the complaints.

Gwynn,We should ask the  sellers about the neighbors at the initial listing appointment.

Donna, One of the reasons to talk with neighbors to see if they are friendly.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 8 years ago

Gita, Yes neighbors can certainly cause problems. We were once looking in the backyard of a home and the next door neighbor was screaming at someone. All of a sudden a large rock was tossed over the fence. Our buyers left in a hurry!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 8 years ago

Larry and Sheila, I would have done the same. I would be scared to go to my backyard if I had such neighbors.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 8 years ago

Good post, Gita.  Neighbors are famous for killing deals.  However, we do advise buyers to take time to get familiar with the neighborhood before submitting a contract. As you made clear, it is always a good idea to have a professional home inspection and that factor is even more important when considering a lender owned foreclosure that has no disclosures.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia.  Photograph by Roy Kelley.

Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 8 years ago

Hi Gita,

This happens all the time; and if the seller and neighbor is not getting along it could be real bad.  I must admit the neighbor information can be really helpful at times, it depends on whose side you are on.(buyer or seller)


Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) about 8 years ago

Roy, I agree. It is good to have a home inspection.

Jennifer, When I am a Buyer's agent I always tell buyers to talk to the neighbors and when I have a listing I talk to the neighbors as well.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 8 years ago

Gita - excellent post and so very true!  I have had similar things happen.  A home I have listed now has a next door neighbor who comes outside every time the home is shown.  She gets on her riding law mower and comes up to the property line and just sits there watching.  Several have remarked that "the nosey neighbor" is not really a plus.

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) about 8 years ago

Barbara, if a house is vacant, the nosey neighbor can be a great help in keeping an eye on the house.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 8 years ago