Q: I am trying to sell my home in West Mayfair and my neighbor’s house is a problem. He keeps an old, beat-up junker permanently parked in the back driveway and there is dog poop all over his front yard. Furthermore, his home needs cement work and a paint job. What can I do?
A: This sounds like an example of external obsolescence, a reduction in value caused by an undesirable factor outside the property. Locational obsolescence, external obsolescence, economic obsolescence and environmental obsolescence are all types of external obsolescence, and external obsolescence is generally not curable.
In this case, depending on your relationship with your neighbor, see if you can find a resolution together. After all, the effect of obsolescence is decreased property value and one thing for sure is your neighbor doesn’t want his property adversely affected. Maybe you could help him paint his home or offer to have your kids clean up the dog poop in his yard (or just go do it yourself). Is there a better place to store his old car?
It would be unfortunate if you don’t have a good relationship with your neighbor, because there is probably nothing you can do except, if it’s possible, maybe install a privacy fence. It might cost you, but do whatever you can do to make your home incredibly appealing to help your potential buyers ignore your neighbor’s property and focus on yours.
Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.