Date Published 04 June 2018

Q: I am trying to sell / rent my out my property and the neighbours' garden is very off putting, what do you suggest I do about it?

A: Within this profession you get to see many properties for both sell and to rent where the immediate neighbours properties are a bit of an eye sore and this makes one think, how will I be able to sell / rent with things looking like they do. More often than not this includes un-kept gardens, old vehicles, builders rubbish or litter strewn about everywhere. The answer that I give is why don't you just knock on your neighbours door and offer to address the problem oneself without seeking payment. In other words offer to help unconditionally.

All too often you will find that where things appear un-kept there is usually an under lying reason and by knocking on the door, one typically will get to learn the reason why and the reason provides an explanation which may not be sheer laziness as maybe the first impression. To illustrate one can't cut ones lawn if one does not have the right cutting equipment / mower / strimmer. So offering to either proves your mover or cutting it oneself will both improve the outlook of making a good impression with your own property and also get people gossiping within the neighbourhood as others notice that the eyesore lawn for so long has been cut. Others typically will not know what has brought this about but that does not matter. The important point is that it is sorted.

Without blowing my own trumpet, I offered to cut a lawn tonight making it very clear that I did not require payment for a guy, only that I was very happy to cut it if accepted. The owner did accept the offer, and two of his neighbours also popped out to chat to me as a result, one offering to sweep up the grass cuttings which I had created. Having cut the lawn, the cul-de-sac looks much improved within an area miles from where I live and it has been no skin off my back.

We could apply the same principle to unsightly rubbish in people front gardens. We may often see for example the Scouts or Cubs walking around the neighbourhood doing a litter pick within public footpaths. Why not apply the same principle to ones neighbours' gardens. Or offer to take a load of rubbish for somebody to the local tip. After all if you have the means, share it with others. If one doesn't then why not ask somebody who does or even offer to pay for the local authority to call and collect the bulky household items instead. Yes, this involves an expense, yet we all give money to charity, so just treat this as another charity.

All this for some maybe considered rather controversial, yet it need not be, it is neighbourhoods helping out their neighbourhoods for the common good. The list of things could be endless, yet the results speak louder than words. Yes, one could feel that one is being taken advantage of, yet does that really matter. You're wanting to sell / rent and if you decided to do nothing then you are typically not going to achieve any result. At least by offering you have a greater opportunity of achieving your desired goal.

Hopefully for some of you, the seed is sown and readers of this article can perhaps start to think about what services one can offer ones neighbour / local community this week. Please do give it a go as I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised…