You pull your car up to the lovely house that you are about to show a buyer. On paper it's perfect. It meets all the necessary criteria--number of bedrooms, number of baths, school district, etc. Then you and your clients scan the neighborhood only to be aghast at the dilapidated house next door (or across the street, or down the road). That neighbor's house is pitiful. Sometimes it's more than just neglect or deferred maintenance. Sometimes it's a junkyard of contents or an abandoned boarded up bank-owned property. Regardless of what the situation is, it is likely going to kill any potential sale. Bad for the buyer. Worse for the seller
Neighborhood blight comes in many forms. Most town ordinances for controlling blight issues come down to identifying extreme properties that are potentially dangerous for health or safety. However, there are far many eyesore properties that "fly under the radar" of town ordinances yet severely impact all the surrounding neighbors. These eyesores are often what makes buyers walk away. Here's some of the dialog I've heard: "What's with the house next door? Is it going to get worse before it gets better? I can't imagine looking out my window and seeing that! Nope, I think we need to look at other properties."
Although I am a proponent of being both direct and tactful on addressing problems before a property is put on the market, I must say this issue has stumped me. The few times I have worked with a seller on politely asking the other property to help our real estate marketing efforts, it didn't go so well. One case was a blank stare--with a "What seems to be the problem?" rebuttal. The other was met with a defensive and combative exchange.
Sure, we can always get the town involved. And, I certainly recommend going in that direction when there are potential safety issues. However, the run of the mill, junkie occupied house in the neighborhood is more prevalent in our everyday business.
Any suggestions on how you would handle this situation when it effects selling your home or your listing?