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Do I have to sell to neighbor?

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ikeroberts

Junior Member
I live on six rural acres and own the adjacent lot, also six acres. My neighbor on the other side of the lot wants to buy it, but I don't want to sell it to him. His property is 'junked up' with inoperable vehicles, an uninhabitable mobile home, and various pieces of equipment scattered around. Fortunately the views of the mess are mostly hidden when the trees have leafed out. I believe that if he buys this lot he will expand the mess onto the new property where it will be plainly visisble and this will have a negative effect on the value of my house. Do I have to sell to him if he makes a reasonable offer, or even offers full price?
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I live on six rural acres and own the adjacent lot, also six acres. My neighbor on the other side of the lot wants to buy it, but I don't want to sell it to him. His property is 'junked up' with inoperable vehicles, an uninhabitable mobile home, and various pieces of equipment scattered around. Fortunately the views of the mess are mostly hidden when the trees have leafed out. I believe that if he buys this lot he will expand the mess onto the new property where it will be plainly visisble and this will have a negative effect on the value of my house. Do I have to sell to him if he makes a reasonable offer, or even offers full price?
What state?
In the US...no.
 

Mass_Shyster

Senior Member
I don't know if there are any Indiana specific laws covering this. In general, you are not required to sell to anyone. You could end up in hot water if it turns out (or is alleged) that you declined his offer due to illegal discrimination.

Even if you refuse to sell it to him, and sell it to some sweet little old lady, she can turn around and sell it to him.

I suggest contacting an attorney to see if you can sell the property subject to deed restrictions that prohibit the type of use that you are trying to prevent. (Junk vehicle storage, etc). These are common in my state, particularly when a development is being built. I don't know if they are common in your state. An Indiana lawyer would know that.

As an example, the property I bought prohibited me from installing a fence over 4 feet high, parking commercial vehicles in my driveway, parking campers, RVs, or boats in my property, placing signs on my property, and cutting down any trees over 4" in diameter without the permission of the builder. Those restrictions were established in 1984, and expired in 2014. You may be able to do something similar with the deed to your lot.
 
The Indiana Fair Housing Act has similar exclusions to the Federal Fair Housing Act. If you are selling your own home and do not list with a real estate agent then your sale may even be excluded from the protected classes. Regardless having a junked up yard isn't a protected class anyway.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
The Indiana Fair Housing Act has similar exclusions to the Federal Fair Housing Act. If you are selling your own home and do not list with a real estate agent then your sale may even be excluded from the protected classes. Regardless having a junked up yard isn't a protected class anyway.
It's a vacant lot (no structures) that was purchased to prevent development.

Ike and his neighbor were initially planning on buying and splitting the lot. Apparently Ike bought the 6 acre vacant lot on his own.
 

ikeroberts

Junior Member
Is this related to your previous thread: Splitting a vacant lot between neighbors ? (State = Indiana.)
Yes it is. I bought the lot and held it off the market for 5 months, waiting for the neighbor to come up with the cash to buy his part. After hearing story after story that he was just about there with the money, I finally listed it with a realtor. I've since come to the conclusion that my neighbor's word means absolutely nothing and he can't be trusted. Now he comes around with the claim that he will soon have the money, and he wants concessions from me on a deed restriction that will keep a 40 foot strip along the boundary that adjoins my property free from development. I told him no. I have put a lot of work into the lot and it will make a nice property for someone to build a home on and live on. However I'm reluctant to impose any more deed restrictions - such as single family home, no trailers or junk cars, no outdoor spray painting, sandblasting - that sort of thing, because too many restrictions will scare off potential buyers. I'd prefer to just refuse to sell the property to this particular person.
I'll also point out that while we were discussing splitting the lot he was making some effort to clean up his place and at least made a dent in the mess. Since I listed the property with a realtor it has gone the other way. I suspect he is blowing smoke (again) and have already advised the realtor that he may try to make an offer without actually having the funds at hand, but I've never mentioned that I don't want to sell to him. I'm guessing that he can't get any kind of financing and is trying to come up with the cash.
 
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ikeroberts

Junior Member
I don't know if there are any Indiana specific laws covering this. In general, you are not required to sell to anyone. You could end up in hot water if it turns out (or is alleged) that you declined his offer due to illegal discrimination.

Even if you refuse to sell it to him, and sell it to some sweet little old lady, she can turn around and sell it to him.

I suggest contacting an attorney to see if you can sell the property subject to deed restrictions that prohibit the type of use that you are trying to prevent. (Junk vehicle storage, etc). These are common in my state, particularly when a development is being built. I don't know if they are common in your state. An Indiana lawyer would know that.

As an example, the property I bought prohibited me from installing a fence over 4 feet high, parking commercial vehicles in my driveway, parking campers, RVs, or boats in my property, placing signs on my property, and cutting down any trees over 4" in diameter without the permission of the builder. Those restrictions were established in 1984, and expired in 2014. You may be able to do something similar with the deed to your lot.
I believe discrimination is the sticking point here. I don't believe that there is any, in that he's not a member of any particular class of people that I am trying to exclude. It's a case of me not wanting to sell to this particular person because of past dealings with him and expecting the worst if he buys the property. I don't know if I can tell the realtor that I won't sell to him or if I would have to go to a closing after accepting a blind offer from him and then refusing to sell at closing, but I won't sell to him unless I absolutely cannot avoid it.
 
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