Pride of ownership is a great selling feature for any home, but it can be difficult to make your property look appealing to buyers if your neighbour’s is in disrepair.

Brad Johnstone, who is with Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre, recommends taking a diplomatic approach in these situations. “The key is to be respectful and make suggestions rather than demands,” says Johnstone. He also recommends to sandwich comments between two positive statements in addition, to these tips:

Offer a subtle hint. Your neighbour may not be aware of a simple improvement that will help their enjoyment of their own home. Make a suggestion in a conversational style, from their perspective rather than your own.

Be charitable. If you think your neighbour may have trouble with tasks like mowing the lawn or tending a garden, offer to help – especially if you have a neighbour who is elderly or otherwise unable to handle periodic exterior upkeep. Your time and effort could pay dividends when it comes to selling your own home.

Other resources. If the neighbours are renters, consider a call to the landlord. If there are problems beyond the lawn and garden that are of concern to the safety of the community, call the municipality or a bylaw officer. If warranted, the bylaw officer can order the homeowner to clean up the property.

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