Historic homes are beautiful, but they may be challenging to sell if they have a reputation for being haunted. During an open house, those who walk through the property may feel uncomfortable knowing someone died where they’re standing. However, with the right preparation, you can remove the fears surrounding your eerie listings. This guide can help you make haunted houses more appealing to potential buyers.
About Selling a Haunted Home
In general, a neglected or old home may have a creepy appearance. With a long history of previous homeowners, it’s possible that someone may have committed suicide or homicide in a home. As a result, potential buyers may believe those who have passed will torment them in the middle of the night. As an agent or broker, you should provide accurate information to potential buyers. If neighbors start to spread rumors that ghosts live in a home, you may have to get creative with how you list it.
Potential buyers can find out about haunted houses in their area through a quick online search. You don’t have to put any paranormal activity in the listing, but you should be prepared to answer the question if someone asks. Even if the home doesn’t have ghosts, you have to show potential buyers that you’re aware of the rumors they may have found online. In some states, you have to disclose whether someone died on the property before the buyers and sellers sign the contract.
Tips for Selling a Haunted Home
Keep these tips in mind when selling a haunted house.
1. Tell the Truth About What Happened
If there are rumors that someone died in the house, the property could be impacted or stigmatized in buyers’ eyes. Potential buyers could see the home as having problems, even if there aren’t any. Instead of shying away from the reputation, use it as an opportunity to tell them the truth. You may be able to change the buyer’s perception if you know that the previous owner died peacefully in their sleep.
When potential buyers ask if someone died on the property, it may be better to disclose what happened so you can provide accurate information from the beginning. Even if a home is not haunted, if a previous listing ever said it’s a haunted house, it’s legally haunted. If you don’t disclose that information before the signed contract, you could end up in a legal dispute. Buyers should find out from you instead of from a neighbor on move-in day.
2. Look up Rules in Your State
Each state has its own set of real estate disclosure laws. Some states require you to give any information about past activities that could’ve caused a material defect. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) defines a material defect as a specific problem that may negatively affect a property’s value or put future homeowners at risk.
In Pennsylvania, sellers don’t need to inform potential buyers of psychological stigmas or paranormal activity rumors. However, you have to disclose material defects because they could put the buyers at risk. It’s also best to prepare yourself to disclose information about ghosts or previous deaths on the property. Even though you don’t have to answer the buyer’s questions, it may raise suspicions if you don’t. You can contact a real estate attorney in your area to find out what to do in unclear situations.
3. Change the House’s Visual and Auditory Imagery
As a real estate agent, it’s your job to treat a haunted house like an average listing. For potential buyers, perception is reality. Before anyone walks through your home, they’ll likely check the listing online. Try changing their first impression by listing the property with bright, inviting photos and videos that paint it in a better light. Instead of seeing dark shadows over the outside, prospective buyers can see blue skies and a promising future. Images from a real estate photographer can help buyers feel better about living there.
During a walkthrough, potential buyers might think the house has ghosts in it when they hear eerie sounds. As the real estate agent, you can help change the perception they have of the home. What buyers may think is paranormal activity might be an outdated heating system or branches scratching against the window. Walk through the property with the seller and look for areas that need repairs, lighting or new paint. Encourage the homeowner to trim nearby trees or deal with pests scurrying through the attic.
4. Consider Paranormal Help
If people have complained that the house feels strange as they walk through it, you may have to call a ghost specialist. Check your local directory for experts in paranormal activity who can remove the ghosts in the property. Each professional has different methods for dealing with spirits or other strange activity in the home. Most of these techniques involve talking with them and making peace to keep them from bothering the next homeowner.
After getting help from a professional, you can confidently tell prospective buyers that you’ve dealt with the ghosts. By taking this extra step, you can give them peace of mind that they’re moving into a safe, ghost-free property. If you consult professional services, the house may also lose its perceived eerie feeling.
5. Reconsider the Price
Even if you do your best to sell the haunted house, you might not get any offers at first. As a result, the property might sit on the market for too long, and it won’t be in high demand. When considering the listing price, it’s essential to keep your target buyer in mind. Some people won’t buy a home if someone has died in it, no matter how much it costs. Don’t let the property’s reputation make you accept a lowball offer.
Instead, focus on how long it’s been on the market and consider how much money you’re losing by trying to sell it for a higher value. If you want to get the house off the market in a reasonable amount of time, you may have to reduce the price. Try to save this tactic as a last-minute resort. You can usually get a lot of money for a historic property, especially if it has plenty of rooms.
Contact Real Estate Exposures to Sell a Haunted Home
Selling a haunted house may be difficult, but it’s not impossible with the right resources. At Real Estate Exposures, we provide photos and videos for real estate agents. We can help you portray your property in a positive light to get it off the market quicker. For more information about selling a haunted home, reach out to us online today.