It was Robert Frost who said, “Good fences make good neighbors,” but what happens when it’s time to sell your home and the neighbors are less than perfect?

Everyone wishes they had the ‘perfect family’ living next door, but let’s face it, we aren’t all that lucky.  There are so many factors that can play a part in what makes a bad neighbor, whether they’re messy, loud, or just plain ruthless, their behavior can work against you when it comes time to sell.  In addition, the Appraisal Institute suggests that external factors that living next to bad neighbors can contribute to a decrease in your homes’ value by up to 10%.

Obviously, potential buyers might be less likely to buy your home if they notice the neighbor’s home looks like it could be on the next episode of the television show “Hoarders”, but what about the disputes they can’t see?  If verbal disputes or threats with your neighbors escalate to the point where the police get involved any potential buyer will need to be informed. 

There is a way to deal with a nightmare neighbor before things get escalated.  The following suggestions have helped several home owners make the transition from bad to better.

  1. Talk to your neighbor:

The most advisable way to deal with nightmare neighbors is to actually go and talk with them.  The reality is, some of the people might not even be aware of how their behavior is affecting others. Some people might just have different priorities than others when it comes to things like neat lawns, barking dogs, partying kids etc.

  1. Homeowners Association (HOA):

If you happen to have an HOA in your neighborhood, this avenue does provide you with legal grounds to move against some of the nightmare neighbors’ activities.

  1. Local city government:

There are several different outlets you can take to have legal assistance.  You can call your local city (or county) government (whether it be the department for zoning, environmental management etc).

  1. Attorney:

And finally, we have our last resort: a civil lawsuit.

Although timely, costly and emotionally draining, it will eventually result in the outcome you were looking for.

Unfortunately, one bad apple can make selling your home a struggle.  We hope that one of the suggestions provided above can assist in making your sale a bit easier.