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My Neighbor Wants To Buy My House

Dear Phyllis,
Your column is the first thing I look for in the CV Weekly. I have a bit of a dilemma that I am hoping you can help with. My parents passed away years ago and I have been renting out their home. I was fortunate that my tenants paid me throughout the pandemic. But the shift in attitude favoring tenants over landlords has me genuinely concerned and I have decided now is the time to sell.

Over the years the next-door neighbor has told me that he wants to buy this home if I ever sell. I really don’t know how much it should sell for and I don’t want to negotiate with him. I haven’t sold a home in 30 years and wouldn’t even know how to go about it. It seems I will need a Realtor to help me with all the required paperwork. How do you think I should approach this?

Dear Toni,
Thanks for being a loyal reader! Over the course of more than 30 years selling real estate, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that the neighbor wants to buy the home. In nearly every instance, the neighbor wants to buy the home at a rock bottom price. Only once have I seen that the neighbor really intended to purchase the home at fair market value. In that instance, the parents were purchasing the home next door for their newly married daughter and son-in-law.

Most experienced Realtors have been down this path and realize that the likelihood of the neighbor purchasing your home at a fair price may very well not happen. Therefore, what seems to be a fair solution is that you list the home with a Realtor. In the Listing Agreement add an exclusion that if the neighbor purchases the home the commission will be reduced. Try to find a Realtor who will put the home on the market with professional photos and a great marketing plan. When offers are received your Realtor can then ask the buyer if they want to match the price of your highest offer.

Best of luck in the sale of your parents’ home.