Posted on: 28 November 2016Share
While it is certainly debatable as to whether or not a house can actually be haunted, opinions run the gamut as to whether or not people want to live in a house in which something terrible has happened. These houses, in which events like murders and suicides have occurred, are often known as stigmatized by real estate agents. As an agent, you may have a lot of questions about what to do if you come across a home that has a stigma attached to it by the community.
1. Pay for a Thorough Cleaning
The last thing you want when you are selling a home is for potential buyers to see the lingering effects of the crime in the house. A thorough cleaning removes all evidence, but it also provides reassurance to the buyers you show it to. Do not underestimate the power of a new coat of paint or new carpeting either.
2. Disclosure Is Wise
Honesty is the best policy. In some states, it may be the only policy. Some states have laws regulating that realtors must inform buyers that a house has been stigmatized or that a crime has occurred. Some states require only disclosure of homicides and suicides, and some have no laws at all. Either way, it is best to be honest with buyers about incidents, as some buyers have gone on to sue real estate agents who have not disclosed this information.
3. Use the Home as a Rental
If you find it difficult to sell the house, it is a great idea to consider renting the house out first. A rental is more persuasive in some cases. Plus, buyers are more likely to purchase a home that has been lived in rather than abandoned. Vacancy makes a home a hard sale.
4. Change Outdoor Appearance of the Home
Sometimes a simple makeover can provide the meaningful change that appeals to buyers. You might look at the house that inspired the Amityville Horror books and movies. The owners changed the appearance, even the windows that once set the house apart from others nearby. You might consider making changes to the house that you are selling so that it is not recognizable.
Your goal is to sell the house, even if it has been considered "haunted" or a crime scene. The best way to this is to play to the home's strengths and remain honest.