It depends. Selling a haunted property can be easy or very difficult. First, the seller has to feel comfortable in disclosing to prospective buyers that they have residents who go bump in the night. Many are not, fearful of devaluing their property. That’s a legitimate concern. But certain kinds of real estate, like Bed & Breakfasts, often find that a ghost or two is actually good for business.
Second, a distinction has to be made between “stigmatized” and “haunted” buildings. Stigmatized buildings have a bad reputation that most people know about, and is usually the result of a murder or some other heinous crime committed there. But that does not mean the place is haunted, unless the victim is still hanging around as a ghostly tenant.
The following are not stigmatized properties, but are some of the allegedly haunted properties that are currently for sale in Colorado . . .
The old Logan County Hospital–Sterling, Colorado.
I currently have this piece of Sterling history listed for sale for only $80,000! For more information about the real estate, click here. To find out about its supernatural past, click here (if you dare).
The Bross Hotel–Paonia, Colorado
Back when the Light in the Dark Paranormal team was just myself and my wife Adrian, we investigated this fine old B&B. Located in the Western Slope
mountain town of Paonia, it is available for $689,000, including the building and the business. Mother Bross supposedly still tucks in her guests at night. Trouble is, she died quite some time ago.
Watch Part 1 of the video we produced on the investigation below.
For Part 2, click here.
The Tarabino Inn- Trinidad, Coloardo
This wonderful building is for sale for $675,000, and includes both the real estate and the bed & breakfast operation. Its a thriving business frequented by many out of state tourists and business travelers. It is also alleged to have a ghost or two. Click here for some scary background.
Contact Us above for more information if you are interested in buying. I am a real estate broker who specializes in haunted property!
A Story of a Stigmatized Home
Most everyone knows the story of OJ Simpson. Years ago in California, he was accused, arrested, and tried for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman. Found not guilty, he was set free only to be found guilty for a different crime a few years later.
This case and the stigmatization of the home where the murder occurred illustrate some important points about such places. The condo was eventually sold far under market value, which is typically the case with stigmas resulting from homicides and other terrible crimes. But the more interesting question is this: is it haunted? I am unaware of any paranormal investigations having been done there. Haunted or not, one might think that any future buyer might want to know about the unsolved murder just in case Nicole’s ghost was still hanging around. What if that buyer was stuck in an elevator in Siberia for the last twenty years, and didn’t know O.J. Simpson from Santa Claus?
Under Colorado real estate law, a seller or his or her broker is not required to disclose a murder or suicide to a prospective buyer without the seller’s consent. If the seller does not provide it, then the buyer is left to find out on her own, even though the broker may know every detail. The broker is under a gag order!
But California is different. In that state, details that you do not need to disclose include whether a prior occupant had Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), or whether someone died on the property as long as the death occurred more than three years before the current potential buyer’s purchase offer. If however, a potential buyer asks you a question about any deaths on your property, you must still truthfully answer even if the answer involves an occurrence more than three years in the past. (See, California Civil Code Sect. 1710.2.)
If someone wanted to buy Nicole’s former condo today, its “don’t ask/don’t tell”, since the murder of OJ’s ex-wife and her friend happened more than three years ago. But if a buyer asked if anyone died on the property, the broker would be compelled to say something like, “Oh, now that you mention it, yeah. Some guy named OJ allegedly killed his wife here a while back.” Honest disclosure. If the buyer happened to believe in earthbound spirits who still hang around trying to remedy an injustice, he may conclude that poor Nicole may want someone to know who really killed her, whether it was OJ or someone else. The buyer might be grateful for the disclosure of not only a homicide, but a potential haunting.
Over one third of Americans believe in ghosts and hauntings (source: Gallup polls). Whether you believe in these things or not, enough average citizens do, and courts across the country discuss the phenomena as if it was real.
MY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE TO BUYERS: ALWAYS ASK THE SELLER IF ANYONE HAD DIED IN THE HOUSE . . .
The seller’s broker may not know, or be prohibited from telling you even if he did (as in Colorado). So ask the seller directly. You still may not get a truthful answer, but even if the seller revealed that someone did, the place may be just fine if it was a natural death. The home hospice movement facilitates the passing of people in their own homes, and this will be even more commonplace in the future. But if the answer is “yes,” your follow-up question should be a little more pointed. Ask if the death was from a murder or suicide. Depending on your state, the next answer (or lack of one) could determine your future peace-of-mind in that house.
BTW: in case you haven’t noticed, Halloween is right around the corner. Visit my annually recurring post on the subject, where you’ll learn more about how ghosts affect real estate sales long after the trick or treating is over.
How might a ghost help sell a haunted house?
Click Here to find out!
Paul Hill is the co-founder of Light in the Dark Paranormal,
and he has a brand new ebook:
A Journey Into the Paranormal
Its now available! Read excerpts from the book
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