While the current real estate market may be hotter than it’s been in a long time, sellers still need to put their best foot forward, so to speak, to attract buyers and stand out in their community and price range. This is especially true if the seller is motivated but not able to negotiate on price as much as some buyers may want to ensure they are getting a “deal.”
So, you do some staging and plant some flowers and bake some chocolate chip cookies – all to entice would-be buyers to feel at home when they come to your open house visit with their realtor. Your next door neighbor, or the guy across the street, however, is not so interested in impressing your potential buyers. They don’t mow their lawn as often as they should – or hardly at all! They have allowed junk to collect on their property and their giant barking dogs are always in view behind an ugly fence.
What can you do to get your neighbor on the same page with you to improve your chances of landing a buyer fast? Communication is essential to getting your neighbor on your side.
Put yourself in their position. Maybe they are not maintaining their property because they don’t have the money to have the lawn mowed or fix their own lawnmower. Perhaps an illness or divorce is preventing the person who has always maintained the property to take a long break from keeping things tidy. Or, maybe they really don’t care about how their property looks because they are spending their time and money on the inside where they spend most of their time.
Regardless, you can explain the reasons you need to sell and appeal to their sensitivity for a financial problem or the urgency to move to be closer to family. You can offer to help maintain their property while you are trying to sell your home; that might be a win-win for both families. You can also suggest that new buyers may have children their kids’ ages to entice them to be interested in your future buyers.
If the neighbors are tenants, they really don’t have a reason to care about how their home is maintained because, well, it’s not their property. In this case, contact the homeowner and plead your case. Finally, if the unkempt property is abandoned, you can contact the local municipal code officials to find out what can be done legally to take care of the problem.
In all of these cases, if the neighbor doesn’t comply or respond well to your polite requests, contact an experienced real estate lawyer who will take on your case and fight your battle in court. If they won’t listen to you, they will be forced to listen to a judge when it starts to cost them money.
Contact Joel R. Spivack, Esq. for skilled representation in a real estate dispute. He has been helping residents of Cherry Hill and throughout Camden County for more than 20 years buy and sell real estate, solving land use and zoning problems and deal with challenges brought by associations and neighbors. Call him today to discuss your case.