What’s Harming Your Home Value?

People are always asking me about what it takes to sell their home. What they fail to ask is what are they doing, or is happening to their home, that will sink its value. After realizing that people fail to ask me this question, I thought I would address it on today’s blog and then cover some ways to overcome sinking home value. So, let’s dive right into it.

The number 1 thing that is sinking your home value right now are your neighbors! A nearby property’s overgrown yard, peeling paint, and clutter can easily knock 5 to 10% off the sale price of your home. If you live next to hoarders who have pets, toys or boxes piled up – think about 15-25%. So, what do you do? Write a letter. Try to be neighborly and address the issue directly, even offer to help clean up the yard or move the boxes. If the neighbors are not willing to work with you, write your City Council representative and see what options are available to you.

The number 2 thing that is sinking your home value right now are foreclosures. Yep, foreclosures. Across America, foreclosures were found to cause an average $7,200 price decline for every nearby home, according to the Center for Responsible Lending. While there is little you can physically do about this, discuss the issue with your realtor or broker. He or she can talk with potential buyers and play up the positives about the area and address the issue head on. “Yes, this area has seen a lot of foreclosures when you look at the Comps. This said, the good news is that the economy has turned around and we have seen an insurgence of better teachers, local businesses growing, etc.”

And, the number 3 thing that is sinking your home value right now are sex offenders. In the best of neighborhoods, where lawns are pristine and there isn’t a single foreclosure for miles on end, a single sex offender can drop your home’s value by more than 10%. The publicly available National Sex Offender Registry is one way to vet your neighbors, but it’s also made it easier for interested buyers to see if they want to move into the area. Houses located next door to a registered sex offender dropped by up to 12%, according to a study by the American Economic Review. What can you do about this? Really nothing. It’s a harsh reality, but registered sex offenders do have rights, and – sadly- if you look at the Registry, they are in every neighborhood. For this, should it become an issue with a potential buyer, look to your broker or real estate agent to best discuss the issue and move forward.