Selling with Neighbors from Hell

l54059-1Selling a home is hard, stressful, time consuming, and generally just very unpleasant. In a word, it sucks. The only thing worse than selling a home is selling a home that is undoubtedly a dud. Whether it’s the house itself or the surrounding area, sometimes the factors are just set against you. That being said, sometimes there are ways to salvage a bad situation when it comes down to having bad neighbors in a good neighborhood.

Neighbors from hell. We’ve all lived next to them at some point in our life. We may have even been them ourselves. Maybe it’s the old couple that feels the need to singlehandedly preserve the lawn flamingo population from extinction. Maybe the house is rented out to a new group of rowdy college students every 6 months. Maybe it’s just an unoccupied unit that’s become unsightly. Regardless, bad neighbors can do a lot to drive away potential buyers.

Try talking to them. The first and easiest thing you can do is approach them and explain your situation. Offer to take care of lawn needs while you sell the house, or ask if they can tone their act down a bit, whatever it takes. If your neighbors are elderly or disabled, they simply just might not be able to keep the house up to the standards that you are hoping for. Helping them with the chores can make a big improvement very quickly.

Get official. Most tenants in rental properties care very little about the condition of the exterior of the house or the condition of the yard. Go to the owners. After all, it’s their responsibility to maintain the property. If there is a homeowners association, then go to them. Anyone living in a community with a HOA agreed to minimum standards of maintenance when they bought the property.

Block them out. It can seem harsh, but if you can’t see them, they can’t affect your curb appeal. Consider whether growing or installing a thick hedge between your property, or build a tall attractive wall or fence. Not only will this block the offending view, but if done correctly can actually add quite a bit of value to your own property.

Appeal to their better side. Sometimes a flat out bribe can do wonders. It’s amazing what college students will do if you promise to buy them a kegger after your house sells. Just make sure that the party goes down AFTER the final papers are signed.

At the end of the day, there is no reason why one rotten apple should ruin the rest when it comes to selling your house. Don’t just accept it as the unchangeable status quo. You can do something about it, so do it now!

Ed Michelson is a real estate blogger for HomeVestors of America, Inc., America’s largest real estate investors. For more tips on real estate investing, visit HomeVestors Franchise.

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