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Can neighbors hurt a real estate transaction?

There are many things that can stop a real-estate transaction in its tracks, but nothing hurts a sale more than finding out a property has awful neighbors. There are various ways neighbors can hurt a sale, like by having unkempt lawns or being nosy or noisy.

Did you know that a bad neighbor could drag down the value of your home by around 10 percent? On even a $100,000 home, that's not a number to scoff at. Of course, sometimes, you won't have a choice but to accept your losses and sell at a lower price. However, there could be ways to mitigate the damage neighbors could do to your sale.

First, consider neighbors who have bad attitudes about the sale. A miserable neighbor could make selling a property difficult, especially if he or she makes his or her misery obvious to potential buyers. Particularly messy or unkempt neighbors or their properties could also drive down your property value and make it hard to sell.

What can you do in a situation like this?

Start with talking to your neighbor. There could be an easy resolution to the problem. If that doesn't work, a neighborhood homeowner's association or attorney could be what you need to resolve your problem.

While there's not always anything you can do in court, there are some situations where you could hold a neighbor responsible. For instance, if he or she is slandering you or threatening people who want to purchase your home, you have a basis to start litigation. Encroaching on your property is another possible cause for litigation.

Source: Realtor, "3 Nasty Neighbors Who Can Block Your Home Sale—and How to Deal," Jamie Wiebe, accessed May 25, 2018

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