Haunted Homes and Real Estate

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Draculas CastleOk, when working with buyers who desire a haunted home – do they only want to look at homes at dusk? Is there a requirement for the basement to have a ‘death chamber’, or the grounds to have a pet cemetery?  All joking aside, selling a haunted house could be a real deal killer.

Let me start by saying that I have never represented or worked with a home that was considered to be haunted, however, I have worked with properties located near a cemetery. Yup, the proximity to the cemetery has been a deterrent in every case. I have experienced countless times where the potential buyer called to schedule a tour to either call back to cancel because they mapped the property and identified the cemetery location across the street, or the buyer didn’t bother to map the property, pulls up to the driveway and has no further interest in the property. In every case the cemetery was across the street or down the road and across the street. Unbelievable!

Interesting enough, I have never run across an appraiser that adjusts the value of the property because of its haunting nature or its location near a cemetery.

Now, the question is, do you disclose the hauntings at the property? The belief and therefore the concept is controversial.

In real estate, a ‘stigmatized property‘ is one in which a person may perceive the property to have a defect that is unrelated to its physical condition or features. This may include murder or death of any kind, drug or illegal activities, haunted or paranormal activities, etc. At this point, I think it’s important for the seller to be aware that there are legal precedents and many states require the disclosure of such stigma. And, for real estate agents, to recognize that when asked a direct question, they must answer truthfully.

I myself have lived near a cemetery and found it to be very peaceful.


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About the Author
Leslee is an associate broker of United Country Michigan Lifestyle Properties based in Richland Michigan, just outside of Kalamazoo. Learn more about Leslee at http://www.MichiganCountryHomes.com

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