19 May 2015
Paranormal real estate: What you need to know about selling, buying a haunted house
Updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) -- When it comes to real estate, it's currently a seller's market.
Realtors in West Michigan say there's a shortage of homes for sale.
And that's turning home buyers' attention to older houses.
But what do you do if that home has a paranormal past?
Newschannel 3 talked to a local realtor about what you need to know about haunted real estate.
When putting their house on the market, homeowners often have a lot of concerns.
"The most common is cleanliness," said Amy Turley, a Real Estate Agent for Pearse Realty in Battle Creek.
But sometimes there are some things you just can't get rid of: ghosts.
"I've had that a few times. It's a very touchy subject," Turley said.
Turley said home sellers are required to fill out a Seller's Disclosure Statement.
"And on it, it talks about your roof and basement, everything about your home," Turley said.
In Michigan, there's no requirement to tell a buyer they're moving into a haunted house.
"It's kind of up to the individual," Turley said.
You may not know if your new digs played host to a serious crime or grisly murder.
"Have I been asked about that? Yes. Again, there's no place in the seller's disclosures," Turley said.
You can use the home's haunted history to your advantage.
A recent survey on realtor.com found 62% of people wouldn't mind living in a house they knew was haunted.
"If they want to disclose it, we'll put it out there. And it could hurt or help you. There are some people out there who really believe in this and are passionate about this, and are going to want to buy the home," Turley said.
Brave souls who don't believe may take their chances and move in anyway.
But if your house ghosts are scaring buyers away you still have options.
"I do have a couple people who have equipment and they feel they can monitor activity so I could guide them to that person," Turley said.
People called "house cleaners" with special paranormal abilities can also be brought in to sweep away the dead.
"If it's not selling, we have to change something. And that's typically the price," Turley said.
The realtor says every home has a history.
And you never know what's been left behind.
"The house that we're in was built in the 1930s. Probably has had several families. Lots of life has been lived here. If walls could talk," Turley said.
Realtors also suggest talking to neighbors.
They'll know if the house has any major problems you should know about.
Paranormal experts say that hauntings may be attached to people and not the house, so there may be a bigger problem that can follow you to a new location.
Turley added that saying your house is haunted will most likely not hold up as a reason to get out of a home sale or lease.