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My neighbor wants to buy my house

My neighbor wants to buy my house
ask phyllis a real estate question


Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.

Dear Phyllis,

Your column is the first thing I look for in the CV Weekly. I am hoping you can help with a bit of a dilemma. My parents passed away years ago, and I have since then 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 he wants to buy this home if I ever sell. I really don’t know how much it should sell for, and moreover, I don’t want to negotiate with him. I haven’t sold a home in thirty 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 more than thirty years of selling real estate, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard 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 intended to purchase the home at fair market value. In that instance, the parents purchased 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 the home at a fair price may very well not happen. Therefore, what seems to be a reasonable solution is that you list the home with a Realtor. In the Listing Agreement, add an exclusion that the commission will be reduced if the neighbor purchases the home. Also try to find a Realtor that 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 neighbor if they want to match the price of your highest offer.
Certainly I wish you the best of luck in the sale of your parent’s home.

One thought on “My neighbor wants to buy my house

  1. Nancy says:

    It always sound like such an easy solution but in reality it’s a headache and filled with hard feelings

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