Should You Put Your Single-Family Home On The Market Because You Have Bad Neighbors?

Posted on: 15 August 2017

You loved your home when you first moved in… until you met the neighbor. Maybe they always have loud parties, or perhaps they are rude or shady. For whatever reason, they may your life so miserable that you're now tempted to sell your home and move away. But is selling your home and moving away the right move? Consider these factors:

Will the neighbor problem make it hard to find a buyer?

Is the problem something that just bothers you personally, or will your potential buyer be bothered too? For example, maybe your neighbor's dog just bothers you because you're afraid of dogs, but an animal lover would be perfectly happy in the home. On the other hand, maybe your neighbor is terribly messy and plays metal music late at night -- habits that would annoy most anyone.

If you think the issue will make it hard to find a buyer, you may be better off seeking legal help and having some assertive chats with your neighbor. Perhaps they'll get so bothered by your insistence that they will move away! On the other hand, if you're confident that someone else will enjoy the home in spite of your neighbor's unique issues, then selling may be the easiest path towards a happier life. Just make sure your real estate agent knows about your neighbor concerns so they can work to find a buyer who does not mind them.

Have you addressed your concerns with the neighbor directly?

If you have not yet said something to your neighbor about the problems they are causing, that's an important step you should take before you resort to selling the home. As unlikely as it may seem, they may not be aware that their behavior bothers you in any way. If you are scared to do this in person, leave them a note in their mailbox. Be polite, and explain what the problem is along with what you would like them to do to correct it. For instance, you could say:

Dear Mr. Jones,

When your music is turned up so loud late at night, it keeps my baby from sleeping well. Would you be able to turn it down after 8 pm? Thank you kindly.

Give the neighbor some time to respond before you move on to the next step.

Is the problem one that you can address legally?

If you like everything else about the home, it would be a shame to let someone else's behavior drive you out. While some neighbor problems are just matters of annoyance, others may be able to be addressed through legal channels. For instance, if your neighbor keeps letting their kids play on your property though you've asked them not to, you could have a lawyer send them a cease and desist letter. This letter would just state that they need to halt the specified action, or else legal action will be taken. Getting a lawyer to send such a letter is usually cheaper than having to sell your home and move.

Contact your real estate agent for more information and assistance.