Market Wise Q&A column: How Do We Sell Our Home with a Unkempt Yard Next Door?


Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: Our wonderful neighbor of 20 years has stored all sorts of vehicles and traffic pylons in her front yard. Now it is time for us to sell. We asked politely for her to move all this outdoor stuff while we sell our house. She of course, ignored our request. What else can someone do in our predicament?


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A: You can call the City Code Enforcement office or a real estate attorney. If the city can not get the mess cleared up, a letter from an attorney might. The neighbor is bringing down the value of surrounding properties. Since you are next door, many prospective home Buyers will bypass your home literally and figuratively. You are lucky she ignored your request to temporarily have her property revert back into a residence from a storage yard. Otherwise, after the new family moves in and the next door neighbor’s yard changes back to blight, you would be the one receiving a letter from a real estate attorney.


Realtor Pat Kapowich, Kapowich Real Estate, is a Certified Residential Broker and instructs quarterly in real estate at De Anza College. Contact him at (408) 245-7700 or


Contact Pat Kapowich, The Santa Clara County Association of Realtors President’s Choice Award Winner for 2013 at (408) 245-7700 and/or