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5 Things That Will Hurt Your Property Value and Selling Price

Your home can be one of your biggest investments, but sometimes things reduce its value are outside your control. Here are five things that will hurt your property value and eventual selling price and what you can do about them.

Your home can be one of your biggest investments, but sometimes things reduce its value are outside your control. Here are five things that will hurt your property value and eventual selling price and what you can do about them.

No matter how many home improvements you make there are some things that will hurt your property's value which are outside of your control. There are reasons that some neighborhoods fight certain business types from coming into or advertising in their area. Changes could have happened in your local market while you owned your home you might know about, but could be surprised to find will lower your home's selling price.

Here are five things you should watch out for if you're concerned about dropping property values. And, as always, talk to your realtor to find out if they're aware of anything negative that could impact your value.

Your Home's Location

No, not the neighborhood where you live, but undesirable things near your house. These could be power lines, which are large, unsightly, and make buzzing noises.

Home buyers also prefer not to live near gun ranges, as they worry about stray bullets harming family members or pets. And, of course, there's the noise of fired guns.

While a nearby highway or commuter rail could make it easy to get to work, you don't want them to be too close. Right next door to the train tracks? Expect potential buyers to see this as a negative. If your living room as a view of the highway, it won't be a selling point.

Buyers only don't love living near mega-churches, even if they're religious. A mega-church draws over 2,000 people each Sunday, which contributes a lot of noise and traffic to the neighborhood.

The noise and traffic associated with a hospital won't help your home's value. Ambulance sirens going off at odd hours and undesirable elements wandering out of the emergency room won't be seen as a plus.

Bad Neighbors

You can stage your home and improve your curb appeal, but you can't do anything about the eyesore next door.

A next-door neighbor who's a hoarder could sink your property value by 5 to 10%, even if their front yard isn't too bad. Buyers won't like the smell coming from their home and could worry about vermin or fire hazards. If their hoarding has extended into their front yard, which could be full of broken-down cars and lawn furniture, it will be a turnoff.

The same is true for a house with no one living in it. Foreclosures and vacant properties bring down your home's value as they sit vacant for a long time and deteriorate.

While there is not much you can do about either of these issues, you can call the city about uncut grass in front of a foreclosure or trash in your neighbor's yard. Most cities have ordinances about exterior maintenance which even bank-owned properties must comply with, so ask your realtor who you should call.

Another type of bad neighbor is a sex offender. If a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood, the local authorities will notify you. Any buyers can look up this information online, and it could make families with young children reluctant to buy your home.

Fracking, Sinkholes, and other Environmental Damage

The controversial method of extracting shale gas called fracking can sink home values by up to 24%. Buyers could worry about leakage into the local groundwater, environmental pollution, and protestors disrupting their day-to-day life.

Sinkholes, even if covered by insurance, also hurt property values. Even if not on your property, just being on unstable ground reduces your home's value.

Environmental damage caused by power plants and garbage dumps, with their associated stenches, will also hurt your value.

Bad Schools

While not every home buyer has a family, many buyers view poor schools as an overall metric by which to gauge the neighborhood. Homes in excellent school districts will realize a premium when they sell.

While you can't do much about the local school district in the short term, ask your realtor to highlight any improvements or new initiatives in your listing. Many cities have reciprocity agreements with nearby districts where children from poorly performing areas can enroll in better schools through a lottery. If this applies to your area, mention it as a selling point.


No one wants to look out their front window at a large advertisement. Proximity to a billboard can drag down home values, thus many cities are passing no-billboard policies. But if one is near your home there's not much you can do.

Look into installing blackout curtains on windows that face the billboard to block any light, but expect to get less for your home.

Clever Partner Agents provide free, no-obligation,comparative market analysis that gives sellers an accurate understanding of their home value. They also save you money, helping you make the most from your home, by charging lower commissions. Drawing on years of experience, they can implement smart pricing, staging, and marketing strategies to help your home sell for as much as possible.

Reach out to Clever to connect with a local agent who can help you sell your home for top dollar today.


Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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