Kathy Henne: A chore next door

While not a very common problem, if you’ve got it, it can have a negative impact on your listing: The Messy Neighbor. If you live next door to a “neglected” property, you might lose up to 15 to 20% of your home’s market value, particularly with buyers looking for any excuse to reduce their offer.

If you live near an eyesore, it’s well worth your time and effort to resolve this situation amicably. Always be respectful and don’t let you emotions get the best of you.

Unless you believe your neighbor is “unhinged,” you should begin with a visit to their home and a positive attitude – no name-calling or finger-pointing. Don’t grab everyone on the block and gang up on your neighbor – you’ll get better results if you go alone or with one other person.

If you find that your messy neighbor is unwilling or unable to take care of their maintenance, it may be in your best interest to do the work yourself or with the help of other neighbors. No, it’s not fair, but if you want a better sales price, this may be your only option.

As a last resort, you could file a complaint with your property owners’ association or city government. You could be referred to a mediator who may help settle your problem. Do what ever you need to do to erase the negative impact it will have on your home’s sale. It will make your whole neighborhood a better place.