You've done everything. You've repainted the outside of the house, fitted a new kitchen, decluttered the kids' rooms and made sure there's always break baking in the oven whenever you have viewings. Yet you STILL can't manage to sell your home.
More money issues: We reveal what's costing homeowners £3,500 when moving house
Perhaps you've got an inkling as to why – or perhaps you're completely in the dark. However, a new survey from Powertools2U may hold the answer as to why you can't find a buyer. And to quote Good Will Hunting, 'it's not your fault'.
With 1/3 of potential buyers unwilling to enter a house if they are unhappy with the exterior, it turns out that your neighbours’ home could be the problem, not yours.
How bad neighbours devalue homes – the bill in full
- Broken or boarded-up windows: £24,220
- Unsightly or imposing extensions and DIY: £15,845
- Rubbish in the driveway or front garden: £13,807
- Run down vehicles parked in the drive: £12,223
- Unsightly coloured external brickwork: £10,865
- Building work: £10,636
- Poor taste in fixtures: £10,000
- Overgrown garden: £9,959
- Rotting or chipped window and door frames: £9,507
- Overflowing gutters: £8,149
- Dirty brickwork or property frontage: £7,922
- Bins out in the street: £5,000
Total cost: £138,135
That figure could easily slash the value of your property in half, if not more. And, given house hunters will decide if they even want to go inside a property within 10 seconds, next door's eyesore could be driving people away without them even setting foot into your immaculate home.
Almost a third (31 per cent) of Brits admit to arguing with their neighbours about the issues in the list above. But if you can't talk it out between you, what can you do to resolve the situation? Saddat Abid, Senior Property Buyer at Property Saviour suggests using a mediation service.
'Local community mediation services looks to create a win-win scenario for both parties,' he says. 'They're normally free in most areas since they are funded by the council or local charities. In some cases you may have to pay up to £500, however this is still much cheaper than taking unnecessary legal action.'
'Both neighbours have to agree to split up the cost of the mediation service early on. Once an agreement has been reached either verbally or in writing, the mediator will back off. They will then check back in a month’s time to ensure that both parties are sticking to the agreement.'
Related: How to befriend new neighbours
Unfortunately, where you live can also impact on how much negligent neighbours might be costing you.
The cost of bad neighbours across the UK
- Greater London - £95,771
- Greater South East - £64,419
- East Anglia - £57,762
- South West - £50,375
- West Midlands - £38,464
- East Midlands - £38,043
- Yorkshire - £31,793
- North West - £31,506
- Scotland - £29,801
- Wales - £29,779
- Northern Ireland - £26,005
- North East - £25,736
So the next time someone moves in next door, make sure you pop round with a welcome gift sooner rather than later. It could pay off in the long run!
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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