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What is the age old mantra when it comes to real estate? Location, location, location! Usually that brings up thoughts of nearby amenities or perhaps how closely a home may be located to a busy street or railroad. One of the most frustrating situations that some sellers encounter is the fact that a neighbor’s unsightly yard may prevent them from selling at a price comparable to other homes in their neighborhood. While this situation is largely out of your control as a seller, there are some things you can do to minimize the negative affect that your neighbor’s property has on your sales price.

1. Go talk to your neighbor.

It is surprising how many times a person is willing to help if they are just informed of the negative affect that their property is having on yours while you are trying to sell. If there is a reason why your neighbor is unable to clean up, it may be a good idea to offer some assistance or resources.

2. If you live in a community that has a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), check to see if they are able to assist you in requiring that your neighbor clean up.

The extent to which they can act is determined by the Covenants, Conditions, & Restrictions (CC&Rs) that govern your community.

3. Call your local city or county government.

If your neighbor’s property poses a safety hazard, government officials may be able to help. You may have to call several times and their ability to act will depend on what zoning the property has or what other laws have been enacted.

Keep in mind that if the whole neighborhood looks unsightly, then there is probably not a lot of changing that one person can inspire. In that situation, buyers looking in that area will be aware of the condition of the surrounding homes and it may make yours shine like a gem. See my article on preparing your home to stand out from the rest!


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