You know your house is amazing. You’re pretty sure home buyers will agree. It has lots of space, tons of upgrades, a perfectly manicured lawn, and is smack dab in the middle of an incredibly desirable neighborhood. There’s just one problem. You live next door to the neighborhood eyesore! What happens when you’re ready to sell, but a neighboring home threatens to downgrade your listing? You and your agent will need to put on your creative thinking caps and tackle the problem head-on by keeping potential buyers’ focus on your home.
Look For the Silver Lining
Maybe the lawn is unkempt because the homeowner is a quiet, elderly woman who can’t get out and do the yardwork herself. The plus here is knowing that you have a sweet neighbor who’s not throwing any loud parties and who might not mind the sound of kids playing outside. Or perhaps there are a lot of tools and yard equipment lying around next door. Highlight the fact that having a handy neighbor could mean paying less for jobs that need to be done around the house. Offer a little insight into how great your neighbors are (as long as they actually are great) to diminish the house’s appearance.
Create a Buffer
If there’s really not a way to find a bright side to the unsightly neighboring house, find a way to hide it or downplay it. A privacy fence or a landscape buffer (think beautiful trees or thick hedges) makes for the perfect way to create an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude. In addition to hiding the nextdoor eyesore, fences and landscaping add value to your listing.
Highlight the Good
To draw potential buyers’ eyes away from the neighboring house, you’ll need to do a little extra work to make your home shine brighter. Pay close attention to curb appeal. You may want to hire a professional landscaper to add some appeal. Give the house a good pressure washing or a brand new coat of paint, if applicable. Paint your front door an inviting color. Some buyers might even see your house in a better light once they see how well maintained it is in comparison to the one next door.
Find Out the Cause
There could be good reasoning behind an eyesore of a home. Materials littering the yard could mean the owners are remodeling inside or working on a backyard project. A house that’s fallen into a state of disrepair could mean that the owners have fallen on hard times financially or medically. It never hurts to ask if you can help out in some way. But make sure to do so with pure intentions and in a compassionate way.
A little creative thinking mixed with some elbow grease and a dash of compassion are all you need to help buyers look past the eyesore next door and fall in love with your home!