Your Property Value – Do you care about it? The impact of barking dogs on decreasing home valuations
A recent survey by Harris Interactive and State Farm Insurance found that 60% of Americans have a pet peeve with someone who lives nearby. Most notably, dogs.
Certain next-door nuisances — such as annoying pets, unkempt yards, foul odors — could reduce your home value by 5% up to 10%, or even more at the extreme, according to the Appraisal Institute. Just to mention the financial hardship.
A responsible pet owner is respectful to their neighbors.
Anyone who ever lived next door to a house with barking dogs knows that a little “yap” or “woof” here and there, during the day, is not “that” annoying. However, continual, incessant barking any time of the day or night can keep people in their toes. You know how too much barking can destroy peace in a neighborhood, divide previously friendly neighbors and ultimately impact the qualify of life in a whole community.
The only way to sell a house with a non-stop barking mutt next door owned by a psychopath is to sell it to… another psychopathic dog owner.
I personally know that very well. Several years ago I sold (had to sell) my house on a seemly wonderful gated community but where a next door neighbor had a small dog with an incessant yipping. The other neighbor had a really big mutt that barked in full force for everything, including nothing. Several showings, a couple price reduction$ (not a typo), and different realtors who always mentioned the dogs charging the fence and crazily barking at them, and the clients leaving on a rush. Then one day a prospective buyer came when immediately the little barking beast started. Surprisingly, that buyer liked the mutt(!!), even saying how cuuute!. Good for me, I wouldn’t have to disclose anything and at the end he bought the house. Finally!
Money, good money actually, was lost and I didn’t sued that ODOR because of their involvement in the government, if you can understand me. I would never win such a lawsuit when they were in bed (literally) with judges and politicians. But I was glad I was out of there.
In case I had at that time the knowledge I have today on this matter, the outcome could be different, but who knows. This is an additional reason why I started this blog, that I could help others to avoid those dreadful nightmares.
By the way, I was the first to build a house on that street, so no barking nuisance existed before. Also, I got part of a revenge on those ODORs. I came to know later that the buyer decided to make a huge renovation and also to make additional constructions on the lot. Nothing special, right? Well, the buyer planned the work to happen in a very low pace with few and cheap workers, taking a lot longer, redoing things they had just already finished, always making a lot of noise, something that those ODORs hated, including on weekends. Nice!
How barking affects the process of selling real state
When the neighbors’ dog appears aggressive (even more that they usually are), barking at everyone when visiting the property, many clients even ask to leave right away. Despite the size of the dog next door, regular home-buyers become quite nervous around animals they don’t know and that impacts their overall impression of the home.
Some people move “just ” to get away from barking dog, more of a motivation to improve the quality of life and not an effect on property values.
Reduced property desirability
Additionally to the barking problem, when the property smells badly because of an animal over the fence, this is a huge turn-off for prospective buyers and will affect the desirability of the home. Not just that, it’s a (un)healthy issue.
Even if they are dog lovers, buyers know that this problem will impact their backyard quality time, and no offer will they make.
Houses with barking neighbors take longer to sell
Barking nuisance is noise, something serious that ultimately affects the number of times your home will be shown.
Most clients choose not to offer a lower price but instead to find another property altogether. Barking dogs in the neighborhood certainly deter buyer clients from submitting offers on a house, no doubt at all. The only exception may be when an investor buys a house for renting out so this buyer doesn’t care, it’s just the tenant who will live there. Not him, not his family.
Nobody wants to walk into that noisy environment or feel like a prisoner to how they can or would enjoy their outdoor living space in peace and silence. Plus, no one wants to be the person that approaches and has to confront someone about the noise or anonymously report someone’s furry friend and fight that battle for possibly years and years if you’re a home owner (or even renter).
Neighbors should never have their enjoyment hampered by dogs over the fence. (and vice-versa).
Nuisance barking dogs of any shape, breed or size at a neighboring property can definitely impact the desirability of a house. Most homeowners would like to be able to enjoy pleasant activities like entertain guests in the backyard, relax and read, garden, swim, let the kids play – safely – or barbecuing without the constant disruption and annoyance of a loud, obnoxious dog.
Nuisance dogs influencing prices in buyer’s and seller’s markets
Annoying dogs in the adjoining backyard make it take at least a little longer than is normal in any market, be it a buyer’s or seller’s one. The obnoxious animals nearby usually cause sellers to have a more difficult sale, something that not everybody wants.
Nuisance dogs do – yes – have a negative effect on property value in a balanced market with normal inventory levels, since the seller will likely have to reduce the price of the house to entice a buyer to purchase it. In seller’s market, more buyers will be willing to overlook a barking dog just for the sake of getting into a house, any house, and perhaps turn to alternative methods of quieting the dog — not always well received by the dog owner next door.
Barking dogs can definitely impact property value and depending on the market there may or may not be an opportunity to place a “true value” of this negative impact. Meaning, you lose money, your money.
Selling a house in the summer – even worse than in the winter
The warmer temperatures raise issues that aren’t an obvious problem in the cooler weather.
In winter, a small dog with an incessant yipping next door nside the house usually do not present a serious barking problem, or a “smell” problem either. They are mostly kept inside for most of the time. However, when the heat of summer comes in, the dogs’ “problems” next door could be easily detected via nose, or even with the use your best headphones and all windows closed.
That doesn’t help either since any realtor knows that selling houses in winter is a tough job.
Well-known crimes or even urban legends associated with your neighbor’s house or even the whole neighborhood can decrease the value of a home immensely. Though these kinds of issues may be out of your control, they may certainly have an impact on the resale value of your home.
A couple of bad residents can turn a previously nice community into a Not-So-Nice Neighborhood, avoided by many.
Decreased Property Value Contaminating All the Community
OK, Then you had a nice neighbor, non-dog owner, who sold (had to sell) his house for a lower price all due to the obnoxious dog owner across the street from you both. Well, if you plan to sell, your house will also be affected by the lower value of that good member of community. The same applies to the other considerate people close to you. This could have a cumulative effect where several properties in the vicinity will see their value depreciated
Now think on what happens if your community gets a new resident with another nuisance dog. One may have noticed that this usually happens after Christmas, when “little cute pets” are given as gifts. More people will see their properties with depressed values as well. A point will come that your entire neighborhood will be plagued by those robo-barkers that your once perfect place to live became literally hell. A place that not too many people chooses to live in, at least not the best of the law abiding citizens.
What to do to buy a barking noise free home
When thinking about purchasing a house, a few things first:
- It must be in a city with stringent dog barking laws.
- Those laws must be fully enforced, not just to be existent on the books.
- It must be in a HOA (homeowners association) with a hefty fine and penalty for barking dogs.
- Visit the property several times in different hours of the day and different days of the week. Stay there for a little longer, like half an hour or more if you can. Don’t just get in and out in a few minutes.
- Assure yourself that no dog owner neighbor is away, like on vacation.
- Assure yourself that no dog owner neighbor is hiding their dogs during your visit. Some unscrupulous realtors are truly capable of that.
- Ask neighbors (not related to the seller or listing agent) if they have problems with dogs in the neighborhood.
- Walk or drive around the area and check for possible hazards, like a city kennel, a pet shop, or veterinarian office nearby.
You really cannot even begin to describe the hell of living next door to a non-stop barking dog until you have experienced it so all the previous work is greatly worth it.
Tips for Selling your Home
This article is certainly for people who do not have pets, of any kind. However, if the homeowner has pets, and is a responsible one, s/he should:
- Establish a showing plan that includes the pet.
- Remove pets from home for showings.
- Make sure the realtor knows there are pets in the home and what to expect. Listen carefully to their recommendations, and follow them.
- Crate the pet to keep it safe and the visitors less uncomfortable.
- Keep litter boxes clean and odor free. Actually, keep everything absolutely odor free, in and out of the house.
- Make sure the outside and backyard free of any “debris”!
- Disclose the issue of dog barking – and other dog problems as well – unless it is fully resolved.
- Never hide or lie to the buyer or realtor that you had/have pets in the property, especially inside the house. There are people who have serious allergic reactions to pet dander, for example. You don’t want to be sued, right?
Annoying Dogs – Enemies of Valuable Real Estate
Barking noise is definitely NOT a selling point. One will never see a listing saying “the dogs next door bark all night long! Buy now!”. The major problems caused are:
- Owners get less money for their house
- Properties take longer to sell
- Multiple realtors/listing agents may be needed
- Many additional showings will be necessary
- Negotiations will be tougher
So, what can I do to NOT find my home value plummeting?
Take action! Do something from the very beginning. Start with the lighter, polite initiatives and steadily grow to the strongest and most serious actions, like finally suing them for good money. In desperation, and with no recourse left, some people even choose to kill the beasts as they are leaving. Do not ever – ever- allow ODORs take control of your neighborhood or, worse, damage your finances.
Visit our What Can You Do page for some suggestions. I hope you will enjoy them.
The best of luck and good work!