For Sale: Charming 3 bedroom/2 bath home with lots of spirit and loaded with personality. Many unique features. Perfect for Halloween entertaining.
Spooked about selling your haunted house? Relax. According to a survey last year by Real Estate Witch1, some buyers are cool with ghouls and pesky poltergeists aren’t always a deal breaker, especially if the ghosts are friendly.
In a competitive real estate market, 73% of Americans said they’d consider purchasing a haunted house if it has a lower sale price (63%), is in a safe neighborhood (57%) and the spectral inhabitants were more Casper-esque than those in the “Amityville Horror” house (53%). Whi-tch, BTW, last sold in 2017 for $605,000. And the buyer still lives there.
Even less frightening, more than half of the 76% of survey respondents who said they believe in the supernatural said problems like mold and foundation issues were far scarier than living in a haunted house.
So start clearing the cobwebs. Here are some tips on how to sell a haunted house.
Put your home’s best foot(steps) forward.
Most buyers will be willing to overlook your home’s ‘boo-nus’ features as long as it looks good and shows well. Fix anything that may give the impression there’s more in the house than meets the eye, including:
- Creepy, creaky hinges, floorboards and stairs
- Leaky, dripping faucets
- Dirty or broken windows and doors
- Faulty light and electrical fixtures (you don’t want anything flickering)
- Strange odors (Tip: Don’t use incense. It could cause some buyers to imagine a room being used for séances and spells.)
Keep things light, especially in rooms with small or no windows, including attics and basements. Brighten dark spaces and corners with a colorful lamp. Avoid showing your home on dark, dreary days. (No need for naturally scary special effects if the forecast calls for thunderstorms. ⛈️)
Are you required by law to disclose your house is haunted?
If you’ve ever claimed it was or there have been multiple sightings and all the neighbors know about it, then yes. (Check out this scary seller ghost story about legal precedent.) In real estate terms, you’re then selling a “stigmatized” home, à la those that were the site of a notorious murder or other crime. But few states actually require home sellers to voluntarily disclose any alleged or suspected ghostly comings and goings2. As long as your paranormal partners aren’t destructive and affect the value of your home in a material way, like factors such as known structural problems and environmental toxins which must be disclosed, it’s up to you and your real estate agent whether or not to do so.
Rule of Thumb: If you’ve ever told people your house is haunted, you should disclose it when selling your home.
We ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
Here’s another tip. If you want to sell a home that comes complete with Casper and company, consider an offer from Offerpad. We don’t discriminate against the deceased. The only types of homes we can’t buy are:
- Homes outside of our service areas
- Manufactured, pre-fabricated or mobile homes
- Homes where the seller does not have clear ownership (no double escrow)
- Homes that aren’t vacant as of the closing date (or Extended Stay, as applicable)
- Homes that have significant foundation, structural or other condition issues
1 Delgado, Michelle. “Even Haunted Houses Won’t Scare Off Home Buyers in a Competitive Real Estate Market (2021 Data).” Oct. 4, 2021. Realestatewitch.com.
2 Zillow press release. “Selling a Haunted House? Here’s What You Need to Know.” Oct. 29, 2019. Zillow.mediaroom.com.