I'm Selling my home but my neighbor's house looks like a permanent yard sale in Fort Walton Beach, FL!

Real Estate Agent with Sullivan Enterprises, LLC

Hi!  This is my first ActiveRain post--I have been a "lurker" for quite a while, with an outside blog at www.Realtown.com/blogs/valeries, and finally comfortable enough to start on AR.  Please bare with me as I'm still trying to understand things and make my blog look like so many others I've been reading for so long.  As I start, I fear this will be a "vanilla post" as I learn how to get better...

I find being a realtor very enjoyable in many ways, but as with any job a person has, there are always the bumps and bruises that go with it.  I have shown buyers houses, and when driving up to the home never even make it inside the home.  This is through no fault of the seller, as they've landscaped nicely, the house is in great shape, well cared for, BUT, the neighbor either next door, or across the street has so much "stuff" in their yard, that it looks like a permanent yard sale...except there's never a "sale" sign put up.

I had one listing at one point that showed VERY well--a paradise yet close to everything.  The feedback I got from every realtor that showed it had to do with the neighbor across the street.  Just one house made the entire neighborhood look run down and decrepit.  The owner didn't know what to do.  She didn't know her neighbor, they had strange hours, and she didn't want to cause waves (can't blame her!).

SO, how can you handle something like this?  Well, I'm sure there are MANY ways, and I would be interested to hear any ideas, but I will explain how I handled this one.  We had scheduled a weekend open house for this listing, and of course, the question was "how do we deal with the "yard sale look neighbor"?   Well, a couple of weeks prior to the open house, I went over to the neighbor's house, gave him my business card, and explained as nicely as I could (you never know what the situation is in someone else's life) that we were having an open house in a couple of weeks, and the realtors that have shown it have given feedback regarding "your" house saying that it would show better if these things (showing and naming specific things) were moved out of the yard.  I asked him if he could possibly move the things to the back yard until the house sold to help his neighbor out.

The gentleman was very nice, and said that yes, he would get it cleaned up.  It was all of his mother's stuff, and he never knew what to do with it.  Before the open house, not only did he move all the junk (I don't know where any of it went), he set up a little table and chair set on the front porch with flowers on the table!

My seller was SO tickled that this guy was so willing to do this without any issues.  When the open house was over, I took over a large plate of cookies to him and thanked him profusely, not only for me, but for my seller.  He was tickled over getting all the cookies!  Win-win for everyone.

SO--any ideas on other ways to handle a situation like this?  I'm glad this turned out well, but am always open for suggestions and improvements!

Until next time!

Valerie Sullivan
Broker/Owner, GRI, e-Pro
Sullivan Enterprises

Comments (2)

Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

YIKES!  Sounds like a bad episode of Sanford & Son!

Our old neighbor was such a slob and it was HILARIOUS when she asked us to pick up a chair cushion IN OUR BACK YARD that flew out and landed in the pool during a wind.  I refused to pull it out because she lived in that house for YEARS and wasn't interested in any sort of appeal until SHE wanted to move!


Aug 12, 2009 02:49 PM
Valerie Sullivan
Sullivan Enterprises, LLC - Fort Walton Beach, FL


That's what my client said--she felt like she was the neighbor of Sanford & Son! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Aug 13, 2009 12:39 AM