So you are ready to sell your home. And it’s a haunted house. The problem is you fear it should have been the real thing American Horror Story Murder House. If you’ve experienced voodoo in your home, finding the right buyers for it could also prove difficult. But you may not need to disclose the seriousness of the haunted vibe you’ve been feeling. Here’s what you need to know if you want to sell your creepy digs.
1. Find out if you’re really dealing with a haunted house
Is it just paranoia? | rossandgaffney / iStock / Getty Images
Maybe you’re just paranoid or maybe you’re not. First, you need to determine if you’re really dealing with a haunted house. Just because your home is old, weathered, and making strange noises doesn’t mean it’s littered with evil phantoms. On the other hand, if you’ve seen creepy kids climbing out of your TV or furniture and hovering above the ground, you probably have some paranormal activity going on. In this case, call a paranormal investigator to get solid proof.
2. Stay calm – for now
Don’t tell everyone but the buyer. | Metro Goldwyn Mayer
The last thing you need to do is line up all your crazy business on Front Street. After all, it was the 1991 ruling to let the cat out of the bag Stambovsky v. Ackley case in New York. Ackley announced to her friends, the community, newspapers and even Reader’s Digest that she believed her home was haunted. The person who does not receive this information? The buyer of your house. Stambovsky did not become familiar with the information until he was under contract. So Stambovsky took it to court and eventually won.
3. What if it’s stigmatized?
It might creep some people out. | Lisa5201 / iStock / Getty Images
Maybe your home isn’t necessarily haunted, but it was the scene of an abduction, suicide, murder or other crime. That would stigmatize the place. In 2000, Wright State University researchers conducted a study of stigmatized homes and found that they stayed on the market 45% longer than the average home. States have different stigma disclosure laws, so you need to do your part to verify your legal obligations.
For buyers, it’s always a good rule of thumb to guard against reservations by asking written questions and doing solid research. Specific questions need to be answered honestly by the seller or real estate agent.
4. Who are you going to call?
You will be performing a ghost exorcism. | Columbia Images
Do yourself a favor and call the professionals. There are real ghostbusters. These people prefer the term "ghost hunters" and will come to your home to find out the whereabouts of your banshee. Once detected, remove them. For example David Franklin Farkus from HouseHealing.com charges at least $300 to cure your home of the paranormal.
5. Disclose with caution
Check your local laws. | Blumhouse Productions
In keeping with the example of Stambovsky v. Ackley, it is important to know your laws. Each state has its own information about haunted and stigmatized homes. Normally, Ackley would not have been required to give the information to Stambovsky. The caveat was that Ackley had previously decided to share the paranormal activity with her community and her media. For this reason, the value of the house was considered to be impaired. So contact your lawyer and real estate agent to make sure you’re protecting yourself and your potential buyer.
6. Market to the creepy crawlers
Some people are fascinated by the paranormal. | Joe Klamar / AFP / Getty Images
Strange as it may seem, there are people in the world who enjoy conjuring mischief. Some people are really fascinated by the paranormal world and all for moving into a haunted house. Search out these people. Even if potential buyers aren’t looking for a ghost or two, the constrained real estate markets could allow homebuyers to make exceptions.
7. Be prepared to lower the retail price
Know when to lower your price. | loveleah / iStock / Getty Images
When all else fails, lower your price. According to the Wright State University study, a highly broadcast murder could result in a home selling for up to 35% less than fair market value. Nevertheless, it is advisable to prepare for a sale that is below market value. Reducing the price of your home could be just the thing to unload your haunted house and give someone on the hunt a bargain.