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Buying Or Selling A Haunted Property !


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#1 Angelwings

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 03:34 PM

if you knew your home was haunted,would you tell potential buyers ?
and would you buy a haunted property ?

#2 xjadedx

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 03:48 PM

From the selling point of view, I think it is basically the law in most places.  I know that in Canada, you by law are suppossed to tell any potential buyers about any hauntings/ghost sightings/etc.  From the buying point of view, sure, because I'd be sure to let the ghosts know that I was soon to be the boss of the place.  I'm sure they'd run after that anyway. hahaha:D

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#3 Angelwings

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 04:06 PM

lol..

I dont think there aree any laws here in the uk,having said that..to me it may stand for nowt !!

i personally wouldnt buy a apparant haunted property,because of my past experience,but if i were still living with it,and it was our own home (which it wasnt in my case)..it could get very difficult,and i can see both sides to it.
1...i would want to keep quite to get out as soon as possible..
2...would i really want to feel responsible for another family going through what we did,especially if they had chiuldren (hmm nope)

Then you have to take into account..denial..ppl could claim they had no idea.

As for what the law states...Id like to see this one stand up in court !!!
If it did,wouldnt they have to have enough proof to state it was indeed haunted..which we know scientifically couldnt be proven at all....


#4 xjadedx

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 04:18 PM

Thats true.  It would be quite interesting to see how it would stand up in court.  I guess like you said, they could just say they had no idea.

I still stand by the fact, if you like a house enough to buy it, you will.  And whether it's haunted or not, it's going to be YOUR house.  If anyone, living or not, is not welcome, don't stand for it.

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#5 Angelwings

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 04:43 PM

would be interesting to find out if anyone,has attempted to take this to court,lol

as for your latter comment,it sometimes not as easy as it may sound hun,you cant simply ask a spirit to move a house down,or go on vacation for a week or so,More often than not,they are in need of a little assistance,and if your new to this or dont know how to achieve this...it certainly isnt straightforward

#6 xjadedx

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 04:48 PM

I'm fairly new to this but I have recieved alot of positive and helpful information from people on this forum telling me to do exactly what I said, and for me, it has worked for the most part.

I guess everyone is different.

xjadedx

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#7 Stacy

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 11:14 PM

As a Realtor, I would venture to say that possibly 99% of the population would
not purchase a house if they had knowledge the home was haunted. It is surprising to me, but people will actually ask that question when looking at a house.
So, if I were selling a house, I don't think that is something I would mention if I really wanted it sold. However, I might try to rid the home of the "ghost" if I thought it might be a potential problem in selling it.
Illinois Real Estate Law does not require a homeowner to disclose their house as being haunted, it is their personal choice should they decide to share that information with potential buyers.
As for buying a house I knew to be haunted, I'm undecided. I would suppose it would depend on the type of haunting they were experiencing.

#8 angelfire1639

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 09:16 AM

When I was younder and still living at home, my mom was a realtor and one of her coworkers got canned because he was told that the house he sold to a couple was haunted and didn't tell them (which was required where we were). Apparently the activity was so bad that they sued the former owners and the company and they won.

#9 Angelwings

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 09:23 AM

im just unsure on how it can stand up in court,let alone be sued for it...surely evidance would have to be "sufficiant" in order to do so...and if this is right wouldnt this be admitting in the existance "by law" that spirits do exist.sorry just another thought,is it not possible that maybe what happens here is..They can become aware of "disturbances" which yes they may feel the previous owners should have mentioned,but they are unsure of the disturbances origin.

#10 trin

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 12:25 PM

It varies from state to state, but essentially, ethics wise IMHO... if someone in your family really believes the home to be haunted, even if the others don't it needs to be revealed to the prospective buyers.  Just as "The roof is 30 yrs old" , or "there is no insulation in the attic" has to be revealed.

It's then up to the prospective buyer to weigh that information (ask for more details if they feel a need to) and then judge whether or not it's worth the risk... or enough of a benefit, as they would ponder the age of the roof, insulation and condition of the furnace and water heater.


There have been MANY instances where "failure to report" either nixed the sale, or resulted in a significant suit against the seller/Realtor that sold the house.  (in one rather famous case, the suit was against a developer who had built a subdivision over an insufficiently marked but well known cemetery and made no effort to move the graves.)

There are enough people who either 1) don't believe in the paranormal at all (and would laugh off the information) & 2) the "Gothic" types <which I'll define widely enough to include "ghost hunter types"> to whom "haunted" might be a selling point.

Edited by trin, 23 March 2008 - 01:02 PM.


#11 TheMicah

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 06:45 PM

From what i have seen, haunted property seems to go for more money. So yes, I would defently tell the people.

#12 champell

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 06:34 AM

The Law & Disclosure
State-By-State: What’s The Law on Disclosing Stigmatized Properties?
I will make every effort to provide accurate information regarding the various states and their requirements regarding the disclosure of ghosts and other stigmas. That said, laws change so please check with your own area experts (Realtors and Real Estate Attorneys) and rely on them, not this website!

• This is a fascinating and well-annoted article on what is the law now and where it’s going (away from “Buyer Beware” and much more toward the obligation to disclose). Many references to state laws regarding this - those of you doing research will find this most helpful.
Stigma Busters, A Primer on Selling Haunted Houses and Other Stigmatized Property  
• MASSACHUSETTES: If you don’t ask, you might not find out in the Commonwealth of Massachusettes.
Mass: Only Disclose Stigmas If Asked  
• MASSACHUSETTES: If the buyer doesn’t ask, the seller and seller’s agent don’t have to tell. But if the buyer asks, the seller and agent must disclose. Buyers, be proactive!
Massachusettes New Stigmatized Property Law  
• VIRGINIA: Liz Carlson of Long and Foster Oceanfront Office in Virginia Beach explained the situation in her state: “Virginia does not allow disclosure without written consent of Seller when representing the Seller. The reasoning–it does not materially affect the value.”
Visit Liz Carlson’s website  
• WASHINGTON: Pili Meyer of Coldwell Banker Uptown Realty in Port Angeles, WA, tells me that “In Washington an agent is required to disclose “existing material facts actually known by the licensee and not readily apparent or ascertainable by the parties.” There is a long list of stigmas, such as murder, suicide, drug related activity, sex crimes, etc., which are only material facts, as defined by our law, if they affect condition or title. So, in Washington, while it is not required to disclose ghosts, it’s great customer service.”
Visit Pili Meyer’s website  
• OREGON: Greg Masson of Century 21 All Professionals explained: “The disclosures in Oregon are pertinent to the mechanical structure of a
home. We are required to disclose if it has ever been used as a drug
manufacturing place, as the chemicals could seep into the structure.
However, we are not required to disclose if any deaths have ever occurred in
a home.”
Visit Greg Masson’s website  
• OREGON: Derek Ness with John L. Scott wrote to me that “In Oregon you are not required to do any disclosure on stigmatized
houses, other than previous drug manufacturing. Ghosts, murders,
suicides, etc need not be disclosed.”
Visit Derek Ness’s website  
• HAWAII:Recently I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with John Riggins (John Riggins Real Estate in Honolulu, HI) and he told me that in Hawaii, sellers ARE required to disclose non-material things that effect value and desireability to a buyer - and that includes ghosts, if present. John told me a great deal about the Hawaiian respect for the land and sense of spirituality and it was quite interesting. Also he told me a bit about the Menehunes - the native spirits believed to care for the land in Hawaii, and the strong belief in them there.
Visit John Riggins website  
• ILLINOIS: My Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council newsletter for October 2005 included an article about disclosing stigmas, ghosts and other “non material facts”. In Illinois, “the real estate licensing statute (225 ILCS 454/15-20) says, in relevant part, that ‘no cause of action arises against a licensee for failing to disclose…ii)that the property was the site of an act or occurrence that had no effect on the physical condition of the property or its environment or the structures located theron;…’ ” (REBAC newsletter p. 3, Oct 2005) Since ghosts would not have an effect on the physical condition of the structure, they therefore do not need to be disclosed.  
• This is a fabulous page that quotes the civil code from about 2-3 dozen states for a reference. Additionally, there are article links, many of which are on this page of mine already. If you are looking for the civil code, this is a great place to start.
Buying or Selling Haunted or Stigmatized Properties  
• Bill discusses the disclosure requirements for New Jersey r.e. ghosts and stigmas in this excellent blog post!
New Jersey disclosure c/o William Blume  


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#13 champell

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 06:40 AM

Here is the case in New York that was tried in court:

In 1989, naive out-of-towners Jeffrey and Patrice Stambovsky, purchased an 18-room rambling riverfront Victorian mansion on the Hudson River in scenic Nyack, N.Y.

Unbeknown to them at the time, the $650,000 home was haunted.

Owner Helen Ackley, however, had actively promoted her home as a haunt for apparitions in the attic, poltergeists in the pantry and ghosts in the garage.

Both the local and national media reported the story. The most notable version was a 1997 Reader's Digest story, "Our Haunted House on the Hudson."

According to Ackley's Digest account, there were at least three ghosts thought to date back to the Revolutionary War, a red-cloaked woman often seen demurely descending the staircase, a wandering sailor with a powdered wig and an elderly gentleman sitting in the living room suspended four feet above the floor.

"Our ghosts have continued to delight us," Ackley told Reader's Digest.

The spooks were always "gracious, thoughtful -- only occasionally frightening -- and thoroughly entertaining," she said.

At their worst, the spirits almost knocked her daughter out of bed and shook her four-poster bed in the mornings just before the alarm clock went off.

Jeffrey Stambovsky insisted he didn't believe in ghosts, but the possibility of living with them spooked his wife.

The Stambovskys demanded that Ackley return their $32,500 binder and ax the deal. Ackley refused to return the money, claiming that the Stambovskys had agreed to purchase the home "as is."

Instead of taking metaphysical law into their own hands, the Stambovskys took it to court.

"We were the victims of ectoplasmic fraud," Stambovsky moaned.

A lower court ruled in favor of Ackley, but later Justice Israel Rubin of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court reversed the decision with a devilish tounge-in-cheek ruling.

"(A) very practical problem arises with respect to the discovery of a paranormal phenomenon: 'Who you gonna call?' as a title song to the movie Ghostbusters asks. Applying the strict rule of caveat emptor to a contract involving a house possessed by poltergeists conjures up visions of a psychic or medium routinely accompanying the structural engineers and Terminix man on an inspection of every home subject to a contract of sale," Rubin said.

"Whether the source of the spectral apparitions seen by defendant seller are parapsychic or psychogenic, having reported their presence in both a national publication and the local press, defendant is estopped to deny their existence, and, as a matter of law, the house is haunted," he finished with a flourish.



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#14 Angelwings

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for those 2 posts,Interesting

#15 Feeler

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 03:36 PM

In California, where I live, I believe it is only law that you are to disclose if someone has died in the house.  

I personally have lived in haunted houses but know we never had to disclose the info at the time we sold unless the buyers specifically asked about it.  

This was many years ago, however, and I assume laws have changed.  

I think if I were experiencing nasty, negative things I would disclose that from an ethics standpoint.