How to Sell a House With Bad Neighbors


Learn how to increase the odds of a full market value home sale when you live next to messy neighbors who threaten to bring down your property’s value. Find out how to convince neighbors to clean up their properties and set the stage for your sale.


When it comes to bad neighbors, perspective and perception are everything. If you’re trying to sell your DFW home, an unattractive bordering property can lower your appraisals by as much as 10 percent and can send your buyers running for the Texas hillside. To ensure that your home remains inviting and attractive to buyers, invest in some quick fixes and find long-term solutions to solving the problem of inconsiderate neighbors.

Quick Fixes

Get creative with landscaping. Some strategically-placed trees, hedges, or large shrubs on your property can block unwelcome sights and have the added benefit of deterring the gaze of nosy neighbors. High, solid fences can also block views and keep your neighbors’ belongings on their property. Remember that there’s something to be said for the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Tap Into the Power of Kindness

While bad neighbors can definitely put a crimp in your home’s exterior style, it can be important to realize that kindness and compassion can often remedy these types of community disputes. Rather than confronting your domestically challenged neighbor with similarly annoyed residents of your neighborhood, consider offering a helping hand. Volunteer to clean up their yard for them

— after all, you don’t know if illness, age, or disability may contribute to the current condition of their home.

For more extensive repairs, like exterior upgrades, try throwing a fundraiser to get the job done. Encouraging your community’s residents to each chip in a few dollars for the project can bring the community together for a common cause. Even if you have to pay for yard work or exterior repairs out of pocket, you’ll still save money when it comes to receiving full market value for your home.

Finding a solution to get rid of junk cars propped up in a yard can, at first, seem as impossible as magically transforming them into a working, top-of-line vehicle. As a quick fix, you can offer to pay for a storage facility and move the car into the space. To avoid disagreements and possibly offending your neighbors, you can purchase the car outright and dispatch it to a junkyard. You may even consider researching charities and other organizations that accept car donations for needy individuals and convince your neighbor to donate it for the tax benefits.

Sometimes, repairs and yard work can prove to be too time-consuming or expensive for you or a group of your neighbors to handle alone. Pay it forward by connecting your neighbor with organizations invested in helping low-income homeowners maintain their houses. Start by inquiring with local and government programs or research local chapters of national organizations like Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness.

Last Resorts

Should your neighbors remain unamenable to your suggestions or simply unreachable, your last recourse may have to be official. If you know that your neighbors rent the property, contact their landlord and explain your situation. Landlords have vested interests in protecting the integrity of their properties, so they may want to repair or maintain them once they realize there’s a problem.

You may also consider finding a mediator who can help convince your neighbor to take positive steps to maintain his property. Lastly, should all else fail, a lawyer can push your neighbors to get on the right side of the law and win your real estate agent’s favor. Look into planning, zoning, or subdivision rules to see if they’re violating any local codes. You can also advise public health officials, if your neighbors’ clutter attracts vermin.

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Samantha Gonzales is a copywriter specializing in marketing, business, and educational publishing.

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