Image courtesy of Flickr, Randen Pederson
Haunted homes may be fun to visit, but when it comes to searching for your dream home, most homebuyers avoid properties with a haunted reputation.
Can you imagine running into a ghost in your own home? Haunted homes may be fun to visit, but when it comes to searching for your dream home, most homebuyers avoid properties with a haunted reputation.
Shows like ''American Horror Story'' and ghost movies depict horrifying scenes of terror and panic. Homes are meant to be our comfort spots - where we spend time relaxing and getting away from all of life's little stressors. Most people don't want to be uncomfortable in their own home with ghosts lingering around.
Strange and abnormal activities will definitely deter many homebuyers. In fact, levitating and moving objects, ghost sightings, flicking lights, and strange noises are the biggest paranormal activities that deter buyers from purchasing a haunted house, according to Realtor.com.
Besides from being majorly spooked on a regular basis, many people do not want to buy a haunted home because they will be incredibly difficult to sell in the future.
Since homeowners with haunted properties have a very small niche market to sell to, they are incredibly difficult to sell. Many homeowners need to lower the price just to get it off their hands. This can add pressure and stress to any homebuyer looking to get out of their haunted home as soon as possible.
A haunted house, or one in which someone died, is called stigmatized property. Each state has different laws regarding this type of property. To sell a house or one that is known as stigmatized property, find out from your real estate agent and your lawyer whether your state's laws obligate you to disclose that the house is considered to be haunted.
For example, in California, if a death occurred in a house more than three years ago, a seller does not need to say a word unless the buyer asks. In Massachusetts, sellers don't have to disclose a death, however, they, too, need to reveal the past if asked, but do not need to disclose if the property is the ''site of an alleged parapsychological or supernatural phenomenon.'' While half of US states have laws that deal with stigmatized properties, most do not require sellers to disclose if they have a ghost.
If you are worried about purchasing a haunted house, or the home's past in general, be sure to ask your real estate agent or seller. Another option is to research the home yourself. This can be incredibly useful if you feel that you are not getting the entire truth. If you are concerned that a death occurred in the home, visit DiedInHouse.com. For $11.99, you can see if anyone has passed in the home.
If you are trying to sell a haunted home, you may be in luck. Although it's a small market, some people are actually searching for a spooky house. This may include paranormal societies and individuals who have a special interest in the supernatural or in paranormal phenomena.
A Realtor.com survey found that 62 percent of respondents would consider buying a haunted home, while 25% of respondents have even sought out a haunted history home. Additionally, the survey revealed that 11% of potential home buyers would pay full market value for a haunted property. This is good news for those that are looking to sell their haunted home anytime soon.
If you are considering staying tight-lipped about the ghost in your house, you may want to reconsider. Besides being poor customer service, buyers could freak out when they find out a ghost could be living in the closet, backing out of the sale in a moment's notice. In fact, in one documented New York case from 1991, the sale was voided due to the seller not informing the buyer of the house's reputation for being haunted. The same reasoning could also be used in other states if there aren't clear laws about disclosing paranormal activity.
Considering not everyone believes in ghosts, divulging information about ghosts and paranormal activity too soon could lead people to think that you are crazy.
Before signing a statement saying your house is haunted, it is important to explore commonsense possibilities first. For example, instead of thinking a shadow is a spirit, explore its origin. Is there a bird flying by the window or car passing by the house? Funny noises may be loose boards and pipes, and flickering lights may be a bulb that's not screwed in properly.
If you think that ghosts may be to blame for some unexplainable activity, a home inspector can assess your property, looking for any home issues that may explain the noises or shadows you are hearing.
Unfortunately, some haunted homes never sell. If you have called in the ghostbusters, asked ghosts politely to leave, and tried lowering the price of your home, you may be desperate at this point. You might want to consider changing your house's address if it has been severely stigmatized. This happened in the case where child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was killed.
Although some sellers feel that a haunted home may be worth more, the thought of other spirits sharing the space will deter many buyers. If you are having issues selling a haunted house, you can always lower the price. This could mean taking off as much as 20 to 25 percent off the selling price. This means that some lucky buyer will find that he can get a terrific bargain by buying your home.
Whether your dream home is spooky or not, one thing is for certain, you will most likely have a difficult time selling a haunted home in the future. Haunted homes may be fun for the stories, however, it might be more of an added stress when going to resell your home. If a haunted house is on your shopping list, you may want to give it a little more thought.
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