Brismom 16, Home Seller in Colorado Springs, CO

I put my house on the market. So far, the surveys after showings have all mentioned my neighbors orange/purple house as a detractor. What can I do?

Asked by Brismom 16, Colorado Springs, CO Mon Feb 28, 2011

My neighbor painted his house pumpkin orange with flourescent purple trim. We have no HOA or covenants in our community preventing this, however, since putting my home on the market, it has been mentioned by every prospective buyer so far. This couple also has quite a messy backyard. What can I do? Talk to them about the paint? I can't afford to offer to repaint for them. Do I call city code enforcement about the backyard and really anger them?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello Brismom16

There's a lot of people out there who do not want to live in HOA communities. Try to advertise to them about how wonderful it is that people can make the choice to paint their homes whatever colors they like and park RV's and Boats in the yard. Try to find some words that make the neighborhood sound really cool because the owners in this up and coming neighborhood have the freedom to express themselves. I would really push that. As far as the messy back yard, yes you should call the city on that. I used to think it was best to go speak to the neighbors myself and ask them to fix a problem but after asking my neighbors to keep their dogs from barking all day while they were at work, they won't speak to me anymore even their kids won't say hello or wave or anything. Really weird. I even asked if there was anything I could do from my side of the fence to help train them. I am a dog lover, I have one dog now and usually have two dogs but I don't let my dog disturb anyone else. If I would have annonmously reported them, I suppose they wouldn't have known who to hate.

If this strategy doesn't work, then as others have said, price over comes all objections.

Good Luck to you,

Sandy Kinslow
The Kinslow Team LLC
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
We have a few of what we call Harley homes here in Florida, these are homes that have been painted the Harley Davidson Colors, some people call them Harley Homes, others call them Chocolate Candy Corn Homes, yes it is not everyone's favorite, but then again it is our differences and our ability to express these differences that make us American. Surveys should not be noting that other homes are or are not attractive, but look at it this way, you can do as you wish, the neighborhood is unrestricted, Put a curb appeal in your yard that keeps their eyes off all the other yards. Inside, make sure windows facing the other more colorful home should be closed or drawn in those rooms, if possible or make sure you put a conversation piece in another part of the room to cause attention there and not out the window, in rooms with windows that face fairly pleasant scenes, point out only those windows and the view from them. Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
Thank you, Brismom. Thank you for stating the best reason to live in an HOA community.

That is, indeed, a terrific suggestion from Sandy Kinslow. You might just have to find the next creative couple who will feel welcome next to your neighbor. I also enjoyed the candy corn story from Gerard Carney. No question, there is a difference of perspective that exists. Some people call them junked cars and some call them "yard art" in rural areas. It might take longer to sell, but hang in there.

A suggestion for getting the cleanup going and keeping it that way is what I will call "beer diplomacy." You can use brownie diplomacy, too. But, I bet it's the man of the house who handles this chore. Invest in a six-pack and take to the neighbor. Sprinkled with a few pleases, you can illicit some sympathy and maybe cooperation. I hesitate to call the city.

I can identify with Sandy, and I even have my own story about a neighbor and his 24-hour power saw "hobby." That neighbor had even asked me to tell them if all the noise was bothering me. When I did, they were taken aback. Boy did it turn frosty from that direction.

That is a tough situation, Brismom. Best of luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 7, 2012
Dear Brismom 16,
Sorry to hear about your neighbor, but do not worry the right Buyer will come, who also would like to have the same paint color. For some people it's attractive (do not know why).
Just do not anger the neighbor to make it worse.
If you cannot get it sold, talk to your agent about possibility of a short sale(if you qualify). Maybe, that will create some activity.
The best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
I gave Sandy Kinslow a thumbs up for her creative 'spin" on your dilemna. Before calling the township, I'd suggest you call them directly and have a neighborly chat about what you are trying to accomplish and how much you would appreciate their support. I have a seller that had a "view that sold them on the house" marred by a parked boat - they approached the neighbor and the boat was moved....problem solved.

Unfortunately, what you don't own, you can't entirely control. Try some "honey" and see if you can get the neighbor to be helpful.

Good luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
Perhaps you might afford to paint just the front for them. Less of an expense and most likely the side of the home won't be as objectionable to most buyers. Sometimes our neighbors are in some sort of distress, such as financial or health. If you know your neighbor, or not, introduce yourself, see if it appears to be an elderly couple who can't do the work themselves nor can afford to hire someone. Be a good neighbor and see how you might help them which result in helping yourself. Get a bid discreatly from a painter to paint the front only so you know the expense. Dropping your price down to over come an objection like this makes no sense to me, when you could most likely paint your neighbors house for that amount of a price drop or less. You in return get to be of help to someone who might be extreamly grateful, and will clean their backyard up in return. If you don't have a realtor give me a call or email me I'll be glad to help...Mike

Mike Gumucio
RE/MAX Properties, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
How unfortunate to live near someone that has bad taste AND is lazy. The other posts offered good suggestions. However, the only thing to compensate for a bad location, ie., a busy street, bad neighbors, etc. is price. Talk with your Realtor, but in my experience price trumps location. You should expect to lower your price by $5,000-$10,000 in order to get a buyer willing to accept the bad neighbor. I wish I had better news for you.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
Good Morning Brismom16;
For now all you can do is not to give up hope.
You have someone who likes orange/purple in your neighborhood.
One day or another, a buyer is going to come around who just happens to like being near a home with those colors.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
Indeed there is little that you can do to change the "bad" taste of your neighbor in paint or their lack of care when it comes to their yard. The previous post had some very good idea's when it comes to your house. You HAVE to remember that your home is competing against a large number of other homes,.. some may be better values,.. some may be worse,.. In this market you HAVE to make your home "Pop".

Buyers understand that there is nothing that you can do about the house next door,.. and their concern is obviously the condition of the rest of the homes in the area. Is the neighborhood on it's way down or is this a "localized" condition as it relates to one home.

If it were me I would be attempting to find something to turn your negative into a positive,... remember that humor is a positive emotion.

"Just imagine how easy it will be for company to find your home"
"See your new home from Space,... just look for the dot next the the neon orange dot"

Whatever you can think of to bring a smile and keep your home in a positive light..

Best of Luck to you
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
You can't control your neighbor's home color but there are a number of things you can do to make your home so irresistible that your neighbor's home may not be noticed. Just remember that your home needs to be #1 in every way especially when it comes to price and condition. Ask your Realtor to show you homes you are competing with so that you can work to be the best one. You can also offer home warranty, you can have your home staged, extra cleaning, landscaping... the list goes on. There will be someone who will realize your home is #1 in every way and be willing to forget about the neighbor's pumpkin orange paint.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
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