New American Funding Blog

Dealing with pesky neighbors when selling your home

By Courtney Lynch   |  September 8, 2015

Adding a fence or shrubs to block the view of pesky neighbors can help improve the value of your home. When selling a home, there are a number of things you can control to get the best purchase price possible. However, there are also some factors that are out of your hands. One of those is the presence of neighbors who fail to properly manage their property. 

The Realtor Mag, a resource for real estate professionals, noted an unsightly house next door can lower property values by $20,300 per household

If you are selling your property and need to deal with an eyesore next door it can be especially frustrating. Follow these tips to help eliminate the issue and improve your chances of impressing potential buyers: 

Communicate with your neighbor 

One of the simplest ways to deal with this problem is by having a discussion with your neighbor, noted Trulia, an online real estate company. The trick is not being accusatory or speaking down to them when you bring it up. 

"Just writing a friendly note (dropped off with a bottle of wine or another small gift) can sometimes do the trick," noted Ross Anthony, a San Diego real estate agent.

It is also beneficial to mention that the higher price your home sells for, the more valuable their home is. Your neighbor may be encouraged to spruce their own place up a bit if it means they can get more money if they chose to sell one day. 

Offer a helping hand 

Older neighbors might have a difficult time with lawn upkeep or painting their home on a regular basis. Consider asking if they would like some help and offer to provide services. This is a kind gesture and it will help improve the appearance of their house. 

Even if they are not elderly, offering a little help can go a long way - just remember to keep a friendly tone when talking to your neighbors. 

Know how to deal with a foreclosed home 

In some instances, you might live next door to a house that was repossessed because the previous owner could no longer afford to make payments. A wild front lawn and broken windows or boarded up doors can really turn off potential buyers. If this is the case, AOL Real Estate recommended calling the bank. In addition, you can also reach the professional real estate agent selling the property. You can request a bit of maintenance to be done to improve the appearance of the house. 

Involve the homeowners' association or city 

If your neighbors fail to comply with your requests and you've asked nicely, you can involve the city or HOA. When the exterior of a home gets out of control you do not have to deal with it. 

"If there is a really bad problem, like the grass is a foot tall and there are junk cars on the front lawn, your neighbors are probably in violation of local codes and can be forced to clean up," John Z. Wetmore, producer of the TV show Perils for Pedestrians. 

According to Realtor Mag, some states will fine homeowners who do not take proper care of their lawn and exterior. If a home has been foreclosed, some states require banks to maintain the property until new owners purchase the house. 

Reporting a home to the HOA or the city should be done well in advance. So, if you are even considering selling your home you should involve these parties to increase the chances of your neighbors being required to improve the appearance of their property. 

Get creative with landscaping 

Don't forget you have power from your side of the fence. And if you don't have a fence, maybe it's time to build one. You can always block the view of an eyesore with privacy fences, bushes or trees. 

It's recommened to incorporate a water feature into the design of your backyard if you have noisy neighbors. This can help cover up the sounds next door and adds an appealing feature to your landscape. 

In addition to adding some creative landscaping, consider installing blinds in your home to demonstrate that potential buyers can block eyesores from their home easily by pulling down a shade. 

Focus attention on the best qualities 

When preparing to sell your home remember that everything won't necessarily fall entirely on your neighbor's house. Focus on other qualities your neighborhood offers. Emphasize whether you are in a good school district, close to shops and entertainment, near public transportation or have access to parks and trails. These features can help sell your home despite having a neighbor who doesn't always keep his or her home in mint condition. 

While taking proper steps to deal with an eyesore next door is important, you can also help guide a potential buyer's attention toward the more positive features of your home.
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