Challenge & Responsibility of Listing a Neighbor’s Property

The protection of property values rests upon all of us to some extent. (See previous blog post.) In our neighborhood, a group of very generous and caring neighbors helped to clean up the front and side yard landscaping to help a neighbor’s distressed property more attractive to sell.

A REALTOR is in a unique position to have influence over the process of a home for sale and has a very important role in helping to protect a property’s value.

For example, we listed and sold a distressed home on our block recently. This particular home had been vacant for 7 years and had undergone major renovation work over this period of time. It had approximately $35,000 in termite/wood destroying pest damage in addition to approximately $5000 of copper water pipes stolen and had no heating unit or stove. (Running water, heat and ability to cook  are major factors to consider when certain buyers need financing). Floors needed refinishing and so did the master bathroom. The home was in need of a major-clean-up and vagrants had been reported being at the property umpteen times and vandalism was starting to occur. The seller decided to put the property on the market rather than continue with renovations.

With all of these issues, there were quite the handful of buyers submitting low-ball offers to purchase the property. Their agents were very good about articulating the reasons why they were submitting low-ball offers on behalf of their clients, but we knew better. This was our neighborhood, after all, and who better to list and sell a neighborhood property than someone who knows and believes in the area? After counseling our seller about whether or not he should accept those low-ball offers, he held out for the higher offer. Those lowball offers were $300,000 or less, hardly impressive — especially to our seller who poured his heart and hard-earned money into fixing up the property.

We ended up selling that property for $340,000 as-is. Interestingly enough, this buyer was a back-up offer, second to a couple who wanted to buy the home but had to sell their other residence first. The first buyers had the right of first refusal to match any higher offer that came in before their other home was sold. Those first buyers declined, not able to compete with an as-is offer at a higher price.

This was a short sale and we strategize to get short sales sold at a reasonable price. We’re good at convincing a lender about what is a reasonable price…