Written by Jaymi Naciri
There is no “one-size-fits-all” eyesore. Everything from a wildly overgrown lawn to a crumbling building across the street to an art installation made from scrap metal and garbage and soaring a couple stories on the neighbor’s front lawn can create a spectacle and potentially affect home values. So what do you do about the eyesore next door when you’re trying to sell?
1. First, be realistic.
You may have to account for said eyesore when it comes to your sales price.
The article asserts that appraisers may affix a “bad neighbor” adjustment on a house with a neighborhood issue. But can you get around it? Maybe.
2. Try to remedy the issue.
“Home sellers can try talking to a bad neighbor to reach some compromise, or neighbors can approach the bad neighbor as a group,” they said. “Another alternative is to hire an attorney to approach the problem from a legal standpoint.”
Of course, it may be easier to deal with a neighbor who likes his lawn at a solid two feet high than something that can become a safety issue.
If you can’t reason with the owner enough to make him address the situation, perhaps he’ll allow you to take care of the lawn by mowing it yourself, paying for his lawn services while the home is for sale, or bringing in a trash removal service.
Can you really make your home for sale so ideal that it won’t matter what’s down the street? It’s worth a shot.
“Sometimes, the best way to downplay the proximity to a bad neighbor is simply an investment in a privacy fence or strategically placed landscaping,” said the Chicago Tribune. An arbor with climbing vines, a brightly painted front door, and a water fountain to drown out any noise caused by the neighborhood issue can all help.
But what if the neighborhood “eyesore” isn’t a slovenly neighbor, but, rather, an artist with a bold vision. Could you sell a home in a neighborhood that’s become a roadside attraction? Would your clients want to live in one?
What if it was a giant wall of gum, like this one in Seattle near Pike Place Market (In case you thought Seattle had cornered the gum wall market, you’ll be glad to know there’s also one in San Luis Obispo, CA.).
For two decades, the Beer Can house was a local Fort Worth, TX attraction. “The “cans are laced from the chain-link fence to the house to an outdoor ‘bar’ and to other shrubs,” said WFAA. The house recently sold, but it’s not likely the buyer will embrace the continuation of the beer can art. In an area of rampant redevelopment, it stands alone on its street, which means razing is likely.
4. Make it a selling point
It may be that the elephant in the room – or the giant sculpture on the lawn – is an attraction for more than just tourists. That’s what happened on Florence Avenue in Sebastopol, CA, “one of those lovely and modest, in the word’s best sense, neighborhoods where anyone in his right mind would yearn to reside,” said the Sacramento Bee.
Artists Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent moved onto the street nearly 20 years ago, and “installed a 14-foot scrap-metal fisherman, painted with vibrant primary colors by Laurent, right in the middle of his front lawn.” But instead of incurring the wrath of neighbors for the bold art that had been added to the street, something surprising happened. p>