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Don't Let Your House Come Back to Haunt You

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By : Lesa Parham    99 or more times read
The haunted home has long been a problem for sellers and their real estate agents. Disclosure laws vary from state to state – some in favor of disclosure, some exempting agents and owners from disclosure. Even if there are no disclosure laws or they favor the seller, not disclosing negatives might come back to haunt you – both spectrally and legally. People have been sued for not disclosing that a house is reputed to be haunted. It can be better to let the buyers know. In some cases, the fact that a house is haunted can make it more desirable to some people.

There still exists a large segment of people who are affected by the purported presence of otherworldly phenomena. Some people believe that they are sensitive to “vibes” that supernatural entities give off. Others may or may not believe, but don't want to risk that whatever that may be there, may be real. There are a lot of TV shows and books about ghosts, hauntings and the like which only serve to impress upon the public consciousness that hauntings are real and scary.

People don't like being surprised. Oh, they might like surprise birthday parties or checks that come in unexpectedly, but they don't like something negative or possibly negative coming at them from out of the blue, especially with a major purchase. It also doesn't give a good impression when a blissfully ignorant buyer is just about to sign a contract, only to have a neighbor lean over the fence and drawl, “Yep, it's a pity that Old Man Harper's ghost haunts this place to this very day.”

A haunted house stigma may be proven to affect a buyer through people refusing to visit them in their home or workers refusing to do work on the property. It may seem trivial to someone with no faith in ghosts, goblins and the like, but it is very important to some people that their home be free of all suspicion of a haunting. Thus, while disclosure may make it hard to sell your home, it may also affect whether the buyers decide to sue you for not telling them about something very important to them.

On the positive side, a haunting can be a plus for some buyers. So much that there are realties and real estate agents who specialize in this type of real estate. If people want something interesting to discuss around the coffee table, this might just be it. Some people like the prestige of living in a “haunted” house. There are those who neither believe or disbelieve, but they like the style and they like the price.

Disclosure may prevent someone from buying your home, but in the interest of future peace, you may want to tell them anyway. Despite laws that exempt you from disclosure, you may still get slapped with a lawsuit if an overly superstitious person ends up not being able to live in the house due to the presence of a phantom Poodle. The stress and hassle of dealing with a disgruntled buyer may not be worth the sale. Your old home may come back to haunt you, this time with the more tangible negative consequences of lawyers' bills and the like.
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