The Eyesore Next Door

Your house has been postured to be put on the market after getting everything cleaned, refreshed, landscaped, and staged. You’ve interviewed and hired the best realtor. Pictures have been taken, the marketing is perfect and you’re ready to go. But – there is a problem. A neighbor’s unkempt or other various forms of bad neighbors including being noisy or disruptive. These situations can negatively affect your home’s desirability and cost you some real money.

Respectfully and diplomatically, visit with the offending neighbor (s) and have a conversation with them, letting them know that you are preparing to sell your home and would love their help showcasing the neighborhood in the finest light which will also help them. After all, selling your home at a great price only means good news for them!

There are a multitude of reasons someone’s home can look disheveled. A sickness, or a new baby for instance. If this is the case and they are unable to clean up the outside, offer solutions. Maybe do the work yourself for them or hire professionals to get the job done. While it will be money out of your pocket, you won’t be forced to lower your asking price and in the end, you will be able to recoup that when you sell your home.

If your efforts are not successful, make a call to the city hall. Explore how they can help you. Many cities and counties have ordinances that prohibit things such as a vehicle on jacks, old tires, or an inoperable trailer/truck parked on a lawn. Beyond being an eyesore, it could be dangerous to a child who might wander onto the property, thus the police should be contacted. The fire department and health officials might be concerned about tall, dead grass that could be a fire hazard and an attraction to rats or other animals.

The problem may not be the fault of the homeowner if they rent out their home and their tenants aren’t taking care of it or behaving in a way that impacts the neighborhood. If after you have had a kind conversation with them and things still aren’t getting better, you should find the owner. Your realtor will be able to assist you in tracking him down and help in encouraging cooperation from him.

The Bottom Line: A bad neighbor is hard on a house, especially when your home is for sale. A home’s value can be negatively impacted or cause it to stay on the market longer. Good and direct communication is important in these situations. No matter what you do, keeping your realtor in the loop is suggested. They’ve been down this road before and probably have many good ideas.

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