Will My Neighbor’s Poorly Maintained Home Affect My Sale?

Q. “Will my neighbor’s poorly maintained home affect my sale?”

A. Unfortunately, yes. Neighbors can provide a whole slew of unsightly property issues – peeling paint, trashed yards, broken windows, unmowed lawns, overgrown bushes, and excess vehicles (often parked where they shouldn’t be), to name a few. If the home is out-of-sight, perhaps a few roads over, it might not be as big of an issues, but the closer the home is to yours, the larger the affect it will have on the sale of your Wilmington area home.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Unmaintained yards attract snakes, rats, and other pests that can eventually invade neighboring properties. No one wants to deal with an infestation.
  2. Peeling paint, broken windows, boarded windows, missing wood, etc. are attributed to neglect and buyers don’t usually want to be surrounded by the issues that accompany that.
  3. Excess vehicles give the impression that a lot of people will be going in and out of the house, and most buyers are looking for a quiet area.
  4. Metal cans, old vehicles, broken hardware, old furniture…if this type of stuff is piled up in the yard, buyers will start to question what they’ll be smelling (or tasting!) on a day-to-day basis.

One situation in particular comes to mind. A buyer had fallen in love with a historic home in Downtown Wilmington, but the home next-door was vacant with boarded windows. The owner had moved to a retirement community and claimed the home was in fine condition, but the buyer was afraid that the boarded windows would attract trespassers. She went back and forth on making an offer for weeks, and she eventually decided not to purchase the home due to safety issues. Buyers take into consideration the neighborhood when choosing a property, especially if a particular troublesome looking home is nearby. If your home looks out over a property in question, it will especially make your home harder to sell.

So, what can you do?

If the issue is a poorly maintained yard, it may be that they can’t afford to have it maintained or physically do it themselves. You may offer to cut it for them while your home is on the market. If that’s not the case and the grass has been allowed to grow high, it may be a violation of county code and an issue to be addressed by the local health department.

Other issues may be resolved with a polite conversation with the neighbor. You may want to point out that your home’s sale will directly affect the value of their own home. In most cases, you’ll have to do whatever you can to highlight your own property’s best features and that may involve making some changes, like adding a privacy fence.

If you have concerns about your Wilmington area home not selling due to a neighboring property, feel free to give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’d be happy to take a look and provide some insight from our 18+ years of experience selling homes.

About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.