Selling a house that comes with bad neighbors

___

Looking “bad by association” is still a term used when someone hangs out around an individual or group considered undesirable. When it comes to selling real estate, one rotten apple neighbor can make the entire street look bad.

Realtor.com’s Jamie Wiebe agrees, saying,“Whether their yard looks like something out of ‘Hoarders,’ or is bordered by rude, lousy neighbors, it can throw off a sale.”

Unfortunately, most neighborly disputes don’t have a legal remedy. So Weibe says your best options are a diplomatic conversation, a smile, and crossed fingers. “Sometimes the solution, sadly, is dropping your asking price and getting the hell out of Dodge,” she says.

There are times, however, when the law does have your back. In the case of neighbors waiting with great anticipation for you to sell your house because they want it so badly, they will shoo off competitors, Wiebe consulted Atlanta-based attorney Bruce Ailion, who has dealt with his share of bad neighbors—including a vindictive neighbor desperate to buy.

“Every time someone would pull in to see the home, he would conveniently make himself available to answer questions and eagerly share his story about how the former owners were crack or meth addicts,” he says. “He’d say they dealt drugs from the home, that people were coming and going at all hours.”

While this was untrue, it sent potential buyers running. What can you do? “You could sell the home to your neighbors, but if they expect a neighborly discount (or have turned you off with their poor behavior), you need to sit them down for a frank conversation: They aren’t getting the house,” says Wiebe. “If they continue to frighten potential buyers, consult a lawyer. You may have a case to sue them for slander—but expect the road to success to be bumpy.”

Then there’s the neighbor with a bad attitude — a miserable person eager to make everyone around them miserable. Ailion recalls one particularly messy dispute over a neighbor who installed a peephole in his side door to spy on another neighbor’s wife. Not only that, but he kept animals in the backyard and tossed them trash to eat. He also shot his gun in the air while walking down the street.

These less-than-savory attributes made the home a nightmare to sell. In the end, Ailion says the owners sold their house to an out-of-state buyer who “did not ask about the neighborhood or why we were selling,” and never bothered to speak with anyone else on the street. Eight months later, the buyer called to request legal help, to which the attorney said to simply try to get along with his neighbor. Sad.

Hoping your buyer doesn’t perform due diligence may not be an option, however. Those in the know recommend working with other neighborhood residents to solve the issue, banding together to approach them. And in some states, it’s required to disclose pertinent information when selling — especially if you’re dealing with potentially criminal elements. This depends on your state, and your agent will have more information. “If the sale goes through, and the neighbor continues to do terrible things to the new owner, they might sue you for failure to disclose a defect,” says a Roseville, CA-based attorney.

Of course, we all know that not everyone keeps their property perfectly clean or their lawn perennially mowed. But when unkempt becomes an unmitigated disaster, selling your home can be a nightmare. In one case described by Ailion, a property owner he represented shared a long driveway with a neighbor, and that neighbor made no effort to make the path look acceptable. “Offenses included a border of halved tires; a white painted line denoting the property division; dead, rusting cars; and a flag pole with ‘one of the largest Confederate flags I have seen.’” Add to that a “no trespassing” sign stating “This home is protected by Smith & Wesson” and you get the picture.

While there is nothing legally objectionable here, it would be time to take photos of the cars or other junk on the property and document the situation. Then get in touch with the municipal or local authorities. Everything else? Just bad manners. Attorneys agree that most neighbor disputes are very difficult to remedy in our legal system because most lawsuits involve payment of monetary damages for tangible harm. In these cases, it’s not about money, but trying to correct behavior.

If you’re dealing with a true problem home—like a house filled with college kids who party 24/7, or worse, a drug den—your first step should be talking with the neighbors and any homeowners association in the picture. Perhaps the association will offer to mow the lawn, clean up debris, or take other necessary action under their by-laws (you can bet the landlord or homeowner will get fined as well).

The last resort is to drop the price. Of course, any Realtor showing the property may ask why it’s such a steal, but in the end, you won’t have to see a huge Confederate flag every morning when you leave for work or watch your neighbor walk to the mailbox armed with a rifle.

Realtor,TBWS


All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT

Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Alpha Loan Group- Alterra Home Loans

14800 Quorum Drive, Suite 110, Dallas TX 75254

Company NMLS: 258527 /133739

Office: 469-628-4544

Cell: 469-628-4544

Email: jc@themortgagegoat.net

Web: http://www.themortgageGOAT.net

Avatar

J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT

___

Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Cell: 469-628-4544


Last articles

___









Load more

Mortgage Calculator

___


Scroll top