Halloween-worthy Property Features

Halloween-worthy Property Features

Halloween-worthy Property Features

It’s the time for ghosts, goblins and such and hopefully you only have those at your home on October 31st. Halloween decorations are fun in October, but what if it’s not an actual Halloween decoration?  Some features are not selling features, but “screaming features” and may send potential buyers running for the hills.  Make sure you aren’t rocking any of them after Halloween:

Backyard Cemetery—So…Bob is buried in the backyard.  Whether Bob was a distant relative or a beloved pet, it’s still a bit freaky either way.  This isn’t very common, but it does happen.  Some people may be completely freaked out by it and others won’t mind at all.  Many will fall in the freaked out category. Hopefully it’s far enough away from the house that it’s not in constant view. If it is in plain view, consider planting some flowering trees (such as crepe myrtles) to give a bit of separation between the house and the graves.

Questionable Bullet Holes—Bullet holes are not a good look on anything. There is probably a boring reason for it, but it opens a myriad of questions and uncertainty. Did someone die here? Was there a drive-by shooting? If someone is asking these questions, they won’t be buying. Simple fix—replace the window or patch the wall. Poof—bullet hole be gone!

Memories from a Horror Film—A broken faced baby doll, a vintage pram or a wedding dress in an otherwise empty closet may be sweet items on their own. However, things turn a bit creepy when they are the only items left in a vacant house.  I was once in a vacant house and opened the closet to find a giant clown.  I’m thankful my client wasn’t there yet because I’m pretty sure the whole neighborhood heard my reaction.  Once you’ve finished loading the moving truck, do a sweep to make sure no items are left behind—especially things that are shaped like a person or may be considered creepy in the wrong context!

Rat-a-Ewwwy!—Rodents (of any kind) are pretty much universally creepy. They are gross, carry diseases and can cause expensive damage to a property. Unless they are pets (and that’s another conversation altogether), then a rat problem should be taken care of as soon as it is discovered.

Shower Fuzz—This is likely the most common (and luckily an easy fix) of all scary home features. Fuzzy growths and petri dish conditions are not usually received well. The magic two-part fix: bleach and elbow grease.

Deaths on a Property—In a small town with many historic houses, this is a real issue. If the death on the property was from natural causes or suicide, it does not legally have to be disclosed. If the death was a murder or was somehow caused by the house (such as carbon monoxide poisoning), it has to be disclosed. There’s not really a way to “avoid” this, but there is a way to avoid legal ramifications from withholding the information from potential buyers. Luckily, it’s simple: disclose, disclose, disclose.

Mystery Stains—What is that red spot on the carpet? Blood? Wine? Candle Wax?—This is not a fun guessing game for anyone.  Shampoo the carpet or replace it. The same goes for these mysteries that appear on walls, ceilings, etc. This mystery game has no winner.

In general, anything in a house that opens up the question “what is that?” is not a good thing. However, there is some grey area during the month of October, the magical season where cobwebs can pass for chic seasonal décor. The bottom line—if it could pass for a Halloween decoration, it probably needs a refresh. The good news is you’re good until November 1st.

Lisa E. Priest  has zero appreciation for clowns and is an East Texas Real Estate Broker / REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com.

Halloween-worthy Property Features