Saturday, October 26, 2002

spooky house sales

With Halloween approaching, this topic seemed timely. What do you do when you have a ghost staying in your house, and you want to sell the property? Are you obligated to let prospective buyers know that the house is haunted?

A number of states have passed "stigmatized property laws" that don't require certain disclosures. If a house is in acceptable physical condition, there are a number of factors that might cause it to be sold for less money that it might otherwise be worth. Some of these include:

The house was the scene of a violent crime. or a suicide.
A previous owner had a serious illness of some type.
The house is haunted.

The laws involving this type of disclosure vary from state to state. You might want to find out what things a seller or a real estate agent is and isn't required to disclose when you're buying a house. An entertaining article from back in 1995, written for the Wall Street Journal called Is That a Hounted House You're Buying covers more on those laws, and introduces us to a Colorado poltergeist by the name of Ed.

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