How to Sell a Haunted House
Visiting a haunted house attraction is fun, but what if it is a real-life haunted house? For many people this just make believe, but for just as many, it is a real concern. Palestine has many historic homes and with history comes haunting rumors and concerned buyers. When it comes time to sell your ghostly dwelling, keep these things in mind:
Is it really haunted? –
Unless you are living in the house, you are probably skeptical. I am no “ghost expert,” but I do know houses. Houses creak and groan, especially older ones. Don’t assume that every creak is a ghost having a dance party. If you have objects flying around or red goo dripping down the walls, you can’t keep that to yourself…but if you’ve got that, I’d venture to say that determining the validity of a haunting are the least of your troubles.
What disclosures are necessary? –
Any violent death (i.e.: a murder) or a death caused by the house (i.e.: carbon monoxide poisoning) would have to be disclosed to any buyer. “Haunting” (in the eyes of the Texas Property Code) is up to the discretion of the seller. However, if they ask and you believe it is, tell them your experience (or have your Agent do it for you). Don’t hide anything—there’s no such thing as disclosing too much and they will find out eventually (probably on move-in day when the neighbors walk over and greet them and the scoop on the “haunted” house they just purchased. Yikes!)
Free ghosts with purchase! –
On a positive note, there is a buyer for every house and some folkss would love to own a “haunted” house! The popularity of ghost hunting and reality TV have given rise to a subset of buyers that would be drawn to a property because of the ghosts!
Not everyone believes in or cares about ghosts and hauntings. The buyers who are concerned with it will ask, the ones who aren’t concerned won’t bother with it. If the activity is of a high enough level to be of concern, it definitely needs to be shared. If you believe your house is “haunted,” have a serious discussion about it with your Agent and get a game plan for disclosing it to potential buyers without scaring everyone away.
It is easy to make light of a potential haunting, but if it is at a level where you are concerned, it is your duty to disclose it to any potential buyers. Hopefully this is never an issue and the only ghosts you have at your house are yelling “Trick or Treat!” at your door. If you ever find yourself selling a haunted house, you’ll know how to approach the sales side of it. Or maybe you’re lucky and your ghost is a helpful soul who likes to clean and fold laundry. If you’ve got a cleaning ghost, call me asap, I’ve got a buyer. Happy Halloween!
Lisa E. Priest loves trick or treaters and is and is an East Texas Area Broker/REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com