If a seller says a house is haunted, does this need to be disclosed?

  • March 25 2011 - San Mateo
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Answers (13)

Profile picture for Dan Malloy
When in doubt - disclose. I would recommend a pre-inspection...perhaps consider calling in the Ghostbusters, rid the home of the evil spirits, and disclose that you HAD an issue, but that it has been resolved :)
  • March 28 2011
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BOO!

In our fair state of California, the rule is Disclose everything. You will be protected and your buyer will be well informed.

  • March 28 2011
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme

Since you are in California I'd disclose it no matter what actual finding you have.  I recently did a little research on disclosure of death and noticed that California has more specific rules than other states on things that create emotional and psychological impact.  

On another note...while I will argue that believing in ghosts is not grounds for determining someone's mental state, it is still a good idea to have family members or someone else present for all document signing incase there is someone in the family that believes it is a sign of such an issue.  it is best for your seller to have someone besides you, who gains for the sale, that can stand up and say they saw them willingly sign and were competent to do so..etc.  -last thing you want is some family member popping up and claiming you co-erced the seller and their belief in ghosts is some kind of proof of that. 

Who knows...it might make it more appealing for some buyers.

  • March 27 2011
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In NY state you do not have to disclose that the house has a ghost. It's not considered a material defect.  We actually had a case several years ago tht tested that.  A couple purchased a home that they found to be haunted after they closed.  The sued the agent and her company stating that it was not disclosed and had it been they would not have purchased the home.  The state found in the Agent's favor.  Not a material defect.  But every state is different, I would check with you state's Board of Realtors.  Myself, I always disclose it if I know about it
  • March 26 2011
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Wow, Chris.... I asked this question a year ago! (to the word) The answer is this: if there are some unusual things happening in the home that can't be explained, then that must be disclosed. If there are racoons in the garage, which was the case I had that were making noises at night, then that would have to be disclosed. If you're working with someone who is not balanced, make sure a family member is present during any signing of documents.
  • March 25 2011
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Profile picture for rockinblu
Mrs. Rockinblu swore that a friendly spirit became an occupant of our house. I just basically blew it off, although on an occasion or two I got  an eerie feeling, but other than that nothing.  When we sold as FSBOs disclosing what Mrs. Rockinblu thought never even remotely entered my mind. We have mutual friends with the current owners, and they asked them if we ever spoke of ghosts in the house. LOL
  • March 25 2011
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It is best to check with the Realtors Association in your state.  You can usually google by state and find a phone number.  Most states have a hot line where you can ask quesitons. 

States vary as to what you should disclose. Some states mandate that you disclose suicide or murder in a home.  Others do not.  If it is a material defect in the home you must disclose.

Haunting is not readily verifiable nor is it a material defect.  You might call it haunting and I might call it an over active imagination.
  • March 25 2011
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I would ask is this why you are selling? If yes, then I would ask for documented proof from an independant company that specializes in such
situations. iw ouldn't atke the listing until; they could prove it or disprove it.
I surely wouldn't want to lie to a buyer, one way or the other.
  • March 25 2011
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Yes, must disclose.
  • March 25 2011
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Profile picture for James Pycha
No . . .   That is not a material condition and is also hearsay.
  • March 25 2011
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yes
  • March 25 2011
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Remember disclose, desclose, it may not be true but you are going to full-fill your obligation
  • March 25 2011
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I think different states have different ideas about this, but in CA I would suggest disclosure. Your best bet for a really legit answer is the call the DRE. You won't get better advice than that which they can give.

Good Luck.

David

PS. Would love to know where this one is:)
  • March 25 2011
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