In Some States You Must Tell Buyers Your House Is Haunted

Illustration for article titled In Some States You Must Tell Buyers Your House Is Haunted

If you're planning on moving because some paranormal activity chewed up and spat out your dog you might have some extra paperwork to fill out. Some states require that sellers warn buyers about weirdness that could affect property value.

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Most states require that sellers disclose the physical problems with a property, but in some states you need to reveal "emotional defects " ahead of time. Of course what and how much you need to disclose varies from state to state. In some places you can get away keeping it vague, but in New York the State Supreme Court has held that sellers must explicitly inform buyers of all defects—including intangible ones like hauntings. [Mental Floss; Image Shutterstock]

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DISCUSSION

Reminds me of a condo that I wanted to buy recently - the real estate agent started telling us all about how great it would be, how nice it was, that they'd recently redone the carpeting and done major renovation/cleanup in one of the upstairs bedrooms...

When I asked why, thinking, "It was a bedroom, not a bathroom; no pipes that could burst, nothing that would leak; I didn't see any fire damage anywhere else in the building, so no bad outlets or anything...

So, before we bought into it, I did a little more research, only to discover that the cleanup had involved a homicide in which previous owner had killed his wife and stuffed her into a trunk in said bedroom. It was a month before they found her, and by that time, it had made a mess of the room. Real estate agent didn't disclose it like they were supposed to, but it was in the papers and covered by one of the local TV stations.

And I think the bit about it being required came about from the story that spawned The Amityville Horror. Amityville's in New York, and that might have been what spawned this mandate in New York? Not sure, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it was...