Whether it’s an unkempt property neglected by messy owners or an abandoned home falling into disarray, the ugly house next door can have a real and negative effect on the curb appeal of your home.
Your first instinct might be to ignore it and focus on highlighting your homes appeal. But potential buyers don’t have blinders on, and they’ll see the nearby nuisance right off the bat. So it’s best to address the problem head-on.
With a little creative thinking, you can keep potential buyers’ attention on your listing and work through objections to any unsightliness next door.
Create a Buffer
If the neighboring eyesore isn’t something that can be reframed, see if you can take measures to hide or downplay it. Consider performing a land survey to establish clear boundary lines between your seller’s property and the neighbors, and then erecting a fence or landscape buffer, which can draw attention away from neighboring properties and add to the attributes of your listing.
Don’t pretend that potentially intrusive problems with a neighbor’s property don’t exist. Be honest about them; address the issue in the best way you can and move on.
Investigate the Root Cause of the Mess
Sometimes, in order to develop an effective plan for dealing with the ugly house next door, you must first understand what’s behind the mess. This insight may help you provide a reasonable explanation to potential buyers or to work through a remedy with the neighbors.
Offer Help With Compassion
In other cases, rundown homes and overgrown yards may be a sign that the neighbors could use a little help. Perhaps it’s an older couple who are no longer able to maintain the property; maybe it’s a family who has fallen on hard financial times. For unsightly yards, consider offering some lawn care work. It could be as simple as recruiting a few teenagers in the neighborhood for a few hours of cleanup. You could approach them and offer, ‘We’re preparing to sell our house and will be having some work done, and we’d like to do this for you, too, as a thank-you since you’ve been such great neighbors,’”
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