A Field Guide to Spotting Bad Neighbors

Real Estate Agent with The Benya Group 618516

Let's face it, selling a home right now is hard enough in a down market, and sellers find themselves competing against a plethora of foreclosures and short sales in their area.

Even without the market conditions, having bad neighbors can make selling a home exceptionally tough. We've all seen at least one species of Badimus Neighborus Maximus in our neighborhoods. Some species are loud and proud, while others only come out of the woodwork when you have an open house. Bad neighbors can come in all shapes and sizes:

The Hoarder Next Door (Collectorus Junkus)


Everyone has seen this neighbor at least once when looking at homes. Their natural habitat isn't complete without several garbage bags strewn about and possibly enough rusted out metal in the yard to supply American Pickers for the next 3 years.

While their neighbors work on their well manicured lawns, Collectorus Junkus has no idea what their yard actually looks like as it has been buried beneath mounds of garbage for ages. Even a fence fails to mask the hoarder next door as the foul odor coming from the discarded mess can immediately offend any potential home buyer.


The Redneck Tuner (Redneckia Automobilia)

Redneckia Automobilia, like Collectorus Junkus, rarely has any sort of "lawn," mainly because t he drips and leaks from the abandoned vehicles in the yard have long ago destroyed any hope of grass growing.

Redneckia's look is easily identifiable by the bondo-filled muscle cars propped up on cinder blocks that would be best left in a junkyard.

The look is rarely complete without greasy tools littering the yard and quiet weekend mornings interrupted by the unmistakable sound of old cars without mufflers firing up in the driveway next door. (a mangy looking dog often completes the ensemble)


The Weirdo Next Door (Creeperus Maximus)

This neighbor can be the hardest to spot. In their normal setting, you may not even know they exist, as they rarely leave the house and have the pale complexion to show for it. When they do step out, however, you can't miss them.

From their uncomfortable stare to their John Waters-esque penciled in moustache, Creeperus doesn't mean mean to be weird - they were just born that way. This neighbor isn't always so bad, but when they ARE seen (usually by a prospective buyer), they are typically the type to be found walking to their mailbox wearing nothing but boxers and dress socks.


The Fighting Married Couple (Honeymoonia Isovera)

You don't see Honeymoonia Isovera often, but you hear them ALL THE TIME! It doesn't matter what time of day it is, these neighbors fight like angry wombats, and everyone in the neighborhood has heard them air their dirty laundry.

What makes this particular neighbor type dangerous is that you never know when they're going to start screaming, and nothing makes a home showing more interesting than wondering if you're going to be giving a witness report to the police before you leave.


(Photos courtesy of TheGiantVermin, susie.c, lazzarello, and Valdemarick via Flickr cc)


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Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Survey says bad neighbors always claim they have bad neighbors.

Mar 01, 2011 05:56 AM #1
Jonathan Benya
The Benya Group - Waldorf, MD
The Benya Group

@Dave it's funny how that works, isn't it?

Mar 01, 2011 06:00 AM #2
Rick Obst
Eugene, OR

I don't think that these homes are in neighborhoods where CC&Rs are enforced!

Mar 01, 2011 06:01 AM #3
Carolyn DeYoung
Re/Max Dynamic of the Valley - Palmer, AK

Yikes!  I had a hard time selling a home with neighbors who left thier dogs out all day.  All they did was bark! 

Mar 01, 2011 06:20 AM #4
Bob Pfeiffer
McBride Kelly & Associates - Tampa, FL


Hilarious...who allowed you to use their picture for the Creeperus maximus?

By the way, if you know of anyone looking to move to the Sunshine State (not that guy though,) refer them to me and I will gladly pay a 30% referral fee on any resulting closed transaction.

Mar 01, 2011 06:36 AM #5
Jim Courtney
OklaHomes Realty, Claremore Oklahoma - Claremore, OK

Where does the nosey neighbor (sorry my latin is a bit rusty) fit into the field guide? I have a listing now that everytime we have a showing (or an open house) the neighbor comes out in her bathrobe and watches everyone coming and going! I think I'd rather have a barking dog. At least then you know the dog will stop eventually as he gets to know you. This lady watches the owners still after almost 15 years! :)

Mar 01, 2011 07:18 AM #6
Jonathan Benya
The Benya Group - Waldorf, MD
The Benya Group
The baking dogs ne'er really boyer me, unless they're IN the house I'm trying to show!
Mar 01, 2011 10:11 AM #7
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