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Part of the joy of owning your own home is having great neighbors:  someone to put your garbage out or shut your garage door when you forget, a neighbor that has a ladder that’s just the right height you need to borrow once a year, or simply someone to share a beer with on a warm summer night.

But how do you stack the odds in your favor to get that perfect neighbor?  Here are some tips:

  • Know when a home close by is up for sale: Sometimes even friendly neighbors are shy about telling you they are moving.  Keep an eye on real estate listings on Zillow and signs in yards, as once a home is for sale, it’s time to pounce into action.
  • Get friendly with the listing agent: Once a real estate agent meets the potential neighbors for a listing, it sometimes gives them a better feel for who might be a good candidate for the home and how to market it.  We’ve all seen phrases like “great neighborhood for kids” or “tight-knit area.”  Help the agent frame just what makes your block special.
  • Promote the home to your circle of friends: In today’s world of social media, there’s no better way to help pick your neighbors than to spread the news of the opportunity to those you know.  Grab the listing from Zillow and send it on to your friends through email, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Meet Your Potential New Best Friend: As potential owners tour a home, you certainly don’t want to get in the way of their big decision, but if you happen to cross paths, giving a quick “hi” often leads to a friendly conversation and lots of questions from perspective buyers.  You can provide valuable local info and perhaps even meet a future neighbor in the process.

About the Author

Mitch Robinson is a Zillow employee and lives in a 1901 home where he found original wallpaper on some wood panels hidden in his basement. He is a long-time board member of The North Slope Historic District in Tacoma, WA.

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