How to Sell a Haunted House

Did you know, at least 1 in 4 real estate agents have been asked to help sell a home because it is haunted?

When selling a home that has a stigma of being haunted, you want to treat it as a normal listing. We know, boooring but, our job is to help individuals sell their home for as much money as possible, not to generate notoriety. Every state has their own requirement regarding what must be disclosed. In Minnesota, sellers are required to disclose any “material fact” that might affect the value of your home. However, home sellers do NOT have to disclose “perceived paranormal activity” to any homebuyers. This law was put into effect after a homeowner in New York sued when they found out they were about to buy a “haunted” house. In fact, statue 513.56 “does not create the duty to disclose if a property was the site of a suicide, accidental death, natural death or perceived paranormal activity.” Regardless, some will disclose a death if it happened recently rather than risk a sale falling apart.

Some cultures will not live in a house where someone has passed away. Years back, we sold a home where the buyers became aware of the fact that the father had died of natural causes in the home. They chose to have a priest come to the home before closing on it to perform an exorcism. The sellers children were confused on what was happening, and tried to reassure the buyers saying “you don’t understand it was my Dad that died in the home not our mom.” 😂 Hopefully the mom wouldn’t haunt them either!

So how can you avoid being perceived as a haunted home? Ask yourself, why do I believe the house is haunted. Sometimes there are weird sounds, flickering lights, or shadows. If you can figure out the cause, you can probably fix it! Could there be animals in the attic? Even small critters can make big noises that could easily be mistaken for an intruder or ghost. Maybe there is a tree branch that creates shadows or scrapes against the window. Flickering lights or bulbs that turn off may mean that it is time to call out an electrician to check if there are any electrical shorts in the home. If your home has unexplained cold areas or the doors keep slamming shut check the windows, door, and chimney to ensure that they are all properly sealed to eliminate drafts.

If you are unable to find a material cause, try to remove things that may give a perception of “spookiness”. If there are cobwebs everywhere, or a musty smell with creaky floors, it is easy to conjure up the image of a haunted house. As a seller, you want to make your home as friendly and inviting as possible. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  • Make sure every room is well lit with readily accessible lighting.
  • Silence creaky boards and steps
  • Get rid of cobwebs throughout the house.
  • Clean the windows.
  • Rub coconut oil on squeaky hinges and rub off.
  • Trim up overgrown bushes and landscaping.
  •  Utilize a dehumidifier to remove any damp, musty smell from the basement.
  • Remove old carpet if that is hanging onto nasty smells. There are professional companies that can help rid a home of odors too.

When you’re ready, let’s get it on the market, price it competitively and get it sold!

Keep your eye out for our home of the week highlight, this week we’ll do a “haunted home” – just for fun! We hope you have a wonderful and safe Halloween weekend! If you have any “haunted” home stories, we’d love to hear them!

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