Can Your Neighbors Impact The Sale of Your Southern Maryland House?

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on March 2, 2016

In a perfect world, external forces would have no influence on your home’s value. As long as the market is on your side and you keep the place clean and well-staged, you should have no trouble selling above or at the listing price – right?

Don’t forget about your neighbors.

It only takes one bad apple to make selling your Southern Maryland house a struggle. There will always be late-night partiers, hoarders, non-stop barking dogs, and just plain rude neighbors who can easily throw off a sale. According to the Appraisal Institute, a bad neighbor can even cause the value of your home to decrease by as much as 10 percent.

Talk about putting a wrench in the home-selling process.

Most neighborly disputes don’t have a legal solution. The best option is a smile, a diplomatic conversation, and crossed fingers for luck. Sometimes, the remedy, sadly, is decreasing your asking price and getting the heck out of Dodge.

But once in a while, the law does have your back.

Here are three common kinds of horrible neighbors – and someone advice on how you should handle them when your Southern Maryland home is for sale.

The neighbor who wants your home

If your neighbor wants to expand their property, they may have an eye on your home and no qualms about shooing off the competitors. For example, a vindictive neighbor who desperately wants to purchase your home may conveniently make themselves available to answer questions whenever someone comes to see the house.

How do you cope? You can sell the house to the neighbors, but if they’re expecting a neighborly discount (or their bad behavior has turned you off), you should sit down and have an open conversation: They’re not getting the house. Should they continue to scare potential buyers, consult an attorney. You might be able to sue them for libel, but be prepared for the road to success to be full of twists, turns, and unexpected detours.

The neighbor with a bad attitude

Maybe the neighbor is just a cranky guy, keen to make you and everyone on the block equally miserable.

These types of neighbors can make your house a nightmare to sell. Eventually, you might be forced to sell to an out-of-state buyer who won’t know why you’re selling and hasn’t bothered to talk to anyone about the neighborhood.

But hoping that your buyer doesn’t do due diligence might not be an option. Try to work with other residents of the neighborhood to solve problems; they might be willing to band together an approach the miserable neighbor.

Whatever you do, make sure you consult with your attorney and agent about what you should disclose, especially if you are dealing with potentially criminal elements. This depends on your state, and your real estate agent can give you more details.

The neighbor who trashes the neighborhood

Not everyone keeps their home perfectly clean, and even good neighbors don’t keep things perfect all the time. But when disheveled becomes unmitigated disaster, selling your house can become a nightmare.

Let’s say you share a driveway with a neighbor who doesn’t do anything to make the path look acceptable. They have rusting vehicles in their front yard or a no trespassing sign that states that their house is protected by Smith & Wesson.

There’s nothing legally objectionable here. You may have a case with vehicles or junk on a neighbor’s property, and you should take pictures and document how things look before you get in touch with local or municipal authorities. Everything else is just bad manners.

Unfortunately, many disputes between neighbors are hard to solve in the legal system. Nearly all lawsuits involve the payment of money damages for tangible harm. Many neighbor disputes aren’t about cash but about trying to correct the behavior.

If you’re dealing with a real problem neighbor – like a house of partying fraternity brothers or worse – your first step should be talking with your homeowners association and the neighbors, if possible. The association may offer to clean up debris, mow the lawn, or take other essential action under their bylaws.

La Plata MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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