5 Ways to Deal with Problem Neighbors During a Home Sale
While good fences are said to make good neighbors, erecting a fence will most likely not be the cure-all for a nasty neighbor.
You've heard this story before. You spend a small fortune making improvements to your home, and you're ready to sell. Only one problem--you have the world's worst neighbors. What's a home seller to do? There are ways that you can lessen the impact of the fighting couple next door during the open house or the empty foreclosure with the jungle in front. Our team of real estate professionals at RE/MAX DFW Associates have compiled a list of ways to deal with problem neighbors when selling a house.
Scenario #1: The Noisy Neighbors
Dogs, people, music or early-morning mowing can all be nuisances that deter when you sell a house. If you have a neighbor that makes a lot of noise, the first step to solving the problem is to simply talk to them. Be calm and friendly and don’t approach them from that place of anger because that instantly will put them on the defensive. Professionals have found that most people aren’t aware of their noise levels, and that a friendly conversation goes a long way in correcting the issue. However, if the neighbors are dangerous in any way--or become confrontational--a warning note may be the best course of action. Add a copy of local noise ordinances. Legal action should always be your last resort, and it’s important to weigh the costs both emotionally and financially.
Scenario #2: Foreclosures
Foreclosures can be a warning sign to potential buyers, and many times it’s worse if the foreclosure is obvious because of its condition, or worse, because it’s being used for other purposes. If the foreclosure next door has turned into an eyesore or has uninvited inhabitants, do some research to find out the situation. Contact proper channels to get things cleaned up. Lenders must adhere to the same rules as regular homeowners, and sometimes all it takes is some quick calls to get the cleanup or maintenance process started.
Scenario #3: Boundary Issues
Not everyone likes or respects boundaries, and that includes property boundaries. If you have been disputing with a neighbor due to an easement or the property line, it’s best to rectify that situation before you sell a house. Talk with the county, find all your real estate papers—do everything you can to deal with any encroachment problems (which can include anything your neighbor puts on your property, like a structure, fence, or junk). Present the paperwork to your neighbor when you ask them to remove the encroachment, and if all else fails, file a lawsuit to have them remove anything that doesn’t belong.
Scenario #4: Jungles, Hoarders, Junk Car Collectors, and More
There are two ways to deal with large messes: Offer your services or pay for them yourself, or appeal to your neighbor’s desire to increase the home value of the neighborhood by taking care of unsightly messes. Report violators to the city when all else fails.
Scenario #5: Caution--Dangerous Neighbors Ahead
Never put yourself at risk. If your neighbors are truly dangerous, contact the local authorities.
A real estate agent experienced in dealing with negative neighbors situations can rease your stress while selling your home. Contact our team of REALTORS® at RE/MAX DFW Associates to learn more about listing your house for sale.