How to resolve neighbor disputes before putting a property on the market
Selling your house can be a complicated and stressful process– there’s just so much to do, and so much to consider, when you’re trying to get the best possible return on your most important investment.
Difficult neighbors can only make this process more stressful! Unfortunately, selling your home doesn’t mean your neighbor disputes will simply disappear. In fact, failing to disclose neighbor issues can affect the sale of your house or even put you at risk of future lawsuits.
What kinds of neighbor disputes are an issue?
Of course, not every dispute needs to be disclosed to potential buyers. If you just don’t like, or don’t get along with, your neighbors for personal reasons, there’s no need to alert the buyers.
However, imagine that your prospective buyers show up to view your home– and your neighbors are having a wild party, their dogs are outside barking loudly, or people are outside arguing or fighting.
These kinds of situations can actually lower the value of your home up to ten percent, which makes sense. Would you want to move into a place where this kind of noise and conflict is a common occurrence?
Noise isn’t the only issue to consider. You should also make a note of any other kinds of disputes you’ve had with your neighbors.
For example, disagreements about property lines and boundaries, fences, or overhanging trees and shrubbery could also affect your sale.
What happens if I don’t disclose neighbor disputes to a seller?
If you manage to get through the sale process without the buyer becoming aware of any issues with the neighbors, it’s not necessarily home free for you.
In fact, you are legally required to make a note of anything that could affect your home value or general desirability.
If you fail to do so, you’re putting yourself at risk of serious legal action. There’s legal precedent for buyers successfully suing sellers to reverse the sale of the home– which is something you absolutely don’t want.
How should I handle neighbor disputes before I put my house on the market?
Some disputes might be simply handled with calm and direct communication. If your neighbor has expressed that they don’t like a fence you’ve put up, or have problems with trees or shrubbery, you might be able to work out an agreement amongst yourselves, leaving everyone happy– including your potential home buyers.
More complicated or contentious disputes might require formal mediation. That’s when it’s time to seek legal representation. The presence of a neutral third party, like a lawyer, can help you work things out as calmly and fairly as possible. For things like property line disagreements, it could potentially be as simple as getting a new property survey to work out the boundary issue once and for all.
Of course, if your neighbors are engaging in illegal activity, it goes beyond a simple disagreement and you should contact law enforcement to help you handle it. Never put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, and keep in mind that you don’t want your buyers to be in danger, either!
Contact Davidson Law Firm to get it resolved
As a team, the lawyers here at Davidson are experts in many types of law. For each case, we combine our knowledge to get our clients the best possible outcome. Enlisting our help for your neighbor disputes will protect you, your home, and your prospective home buyers– which means everybody wins!