Even in a stable real estate market, selling a home can be difficult. But what if the house you're trying to sell is actually haunted?
Property agents occasionally have to deal with houses that are difficult to sell, either because they are in a bad neighbourhood or because they have been left in a deteriorated state. In many cultures, properties that have been the location of unexplained deaths lose a lot of their attraction because the place is now considered haunted or even cursed.
Many Malaysian neighbourhoods have their own tales of haunting houses that have stood vacant for years despite having many appealing features.
Haunted properties, according to an article in the US-based Realtor Magazine, fall into the category of "stigmatised properties," or real estate that is not physically damaged but has a lower value due to psychological or emotional factors. Following Reuters, stigmatised homes often sell for 10% to 20% less than comparable residences.
Real estate expert Ernest Cheong mentioned, whether or not one believes in ghosts, there are others who do, and their fear of the supernatural can influence their purchasing decisions.
As a result, it is important to conduct research into a property's history before purchasing it.
Cheong also recommends asking the property agent or seller the Million Dollar Question: "Is the place haunted?" Property agents may be hesitant to discuss it because informing a potential buyer that the property has a history of unexplained incidents is likely to scare them away.
“‘Buyer Beware’ is a phrase used in the real estate sector. They'll tell you to buy at your own risk,” Cheong added.
Property agents, on the other hand, carry some legal and ethical obligations and liability if you wind up dealing with supernatural beings who live with you. As a result, if you are a real estate agent looking to sell a haunted house, it is your responsibility to alert a potential buyer of its status.
Failure to do so may put you in hot water if the buyer is forced out of the house by a furious poltergeist who refuses to share its home with them.
Before claiming that a house is haunted,
First things first, check all of the common sense things.
People often believe there is a ghost when there isn't one because of strange noises and shadows, as well as all the scary movies out there. Strange noises could be the result of a broken pipe, and flickering lights could be an electrical problem rather than a paranormal one. If you're seeing shadows, try to recreate them, including where they're coming from and when they happen. Perhaps the shadow is created by a passing car. Mary Pope-Handy is a real estate agent from Silicon Valley, USA who runs the Haunted Real Estate blog. She mentions that the house gives off a sense to potential buyers the moment they walk in — and it's not necessarily a positive one.
Hire an expert to “clear” the space
Consider hiring a medium or someone to "clear" the place if you're certain it's a ghost. A "space clearer" is someone who talks with those on the other side and can help in the search for any "rent-free visitors," This normally involves lighting sage and carrying it throughout the house, which some believe helps cleanses the house. But, to avoid setting the house on fire before selling it, make sure you have a receptacle to catch any ashes as you go. These services are usually provided by a medium, so look for “medium” and your town to find someone in your town. Otherwise, consult with your real estate agent.
Make no assumptions whether it will increase or decrease the value of your home
Sellers who believe in ghosts, on the other hand, believe that haunting will increase the value of their home. In reality, a rumoured ghost or a house where a famous murder occurred can have a variety of effects on the home's value. However, if the property is a commercial one, such as a restaurant or a hotel, it can regularly help with the business. Most individuals are intrigued by the idea of exploring a rumoured haunted location — or even sleeping there for the night. Most people, on the other hand, aren't interested in spending every night with ghosts.
Determine the disclosure law in your area
What is the most common reason for real-estate lawsuits? Disclosure. While it's not typical to sue over a ghost, make sure you understand the laws in your area. That's where a smart real-estate agent comes in handy: they'll know exactly what you need to say and how to say it. They are just as eager to sell your home as you are.
Mary Pope-Handy suggests asking open-ended questions rather than questions that may be answered with a simple yes, no, or I don't know. Ask simply, "Tell me about the noises in the attic," if you notice noises during your house tour. “This is an interesting old house,” for example. “Do you have any stories?” “Being open-ended gives them a chance to be more forthcoming,” she added. And, whether you're a buyer or a seller, the pros all agree: don't believe everything you see in the movies.