With the best of circumstances, selling your home can sometimes feel like a game of chess. Are all of the pieces in all of the right places? It’s no doubt; sellers can control most everything in their own home and in their own yard. But what about an obstacle that seems beyond their control? What about the neighbor’s home….or yard….or dog (just to name a few factors that could come in to play). Here’s some good advice on handling some tough issues that may arise if you find yourself stuck in a “less than perfect” situation.
Overgrown Lawns – Living next to a neighbor who doesn’t maintain his lawn is no fun for most of us, and it’s even less fun when you’re trying to sell your home. Depending on your relationship with said neighbor, a friendly request may do the trick. If not, a call to your neighborhood home owner’s association may help, and if all else fails, a call to the city will probably take care of the issue. Fortunately, most neighborhoods and/or cities have laws in place to keep residents from overgrowing their lots and causing an eyesore. When homeowners don’t cooperate, some cities actually go out and mow the lawn and fine the owners for the time and labor.
Foreclosures – If there is a foreclosure in close proximity, it may not be well maintained and the landscaping may also be overgrown. In these cases, banks are required to maintain the property on a basic level. A little research and you should be able to locate the bank in question. The city or HOA may also have the information you need.
Hoarders – Do you have a neighbor who likes to collect items? Maybe it even looks like they’re having a yard sale when they aren’t? This one is a little tougher. First, make calls to the HOA and the city to check on laws that prohibit storing junk in the front yard, and report your neighbor. If that doesn’t get the job done, you may have your work cut out for you. It will be worth the money and time spent in the long run, but buying a shed for your neighbor and helping with the clean-up may be in order. Sound crazy? Eager home sellers have been known to do it more frequently than you may think.
Annoying Animals – From barking dogs to stray cats, most cities have ordinances in place to help you. They, first, have to be notified though. Stay on top of the situation and make as many calls as necessary to take care of the problem. Again, if you have a friendly relationship with your neighbor, a friendly chat may be all that’s needed.
Remember – Whatever the unappealing problem with your neighbor or neighborhood may be, always stay on the proper side of the law. And certainly don’t do anything that could put you in harm’s way. With a little creativity and diligence, most of these roadblocks can be cleared.
For more information on preparing your home for the real estate market, contact the Scherer Team at 888-300-4431.