An experienced professional Realtor is confident in their ability to sell any property. As long as the price is right, there is a buyer for every home. Even haunted houses deserve another chance with a new owner. Generally speaking, haunted houses are homes believed by some to be inhabited by the spirits of deceased former residents or frequent visitors to the property. Word of mouth spreads quickly regarding homes with a reputation for paranormal activity and such properties can present a challenge when it comes time to sell.
Peeling paint and leaky roofs are easy to see in a home. If a buyer fails to notice these deficiencies, his or her home inspector probably will. Beyond the brick and mortar, other psychological concerns arise at properties with a history of crime or unusual activity. Despite the fact that the issue is probably not raised in the MLS listing, its mere existence can have a serious negative impact on a property’s value. While the MLS may not mention it, neighbours are likely to share tales of ghost sightings and the media will have already documented the fact that a gruesome crime took place at that address. Examples of circumstances that could result in a property becoming stigmatized include everything from a history of frequent break-ins to organized crime activity, illegal sexual activity and even murder.
In the United States, states have varying laws when it comes to a seller and real estate agent’s duty to disclose information relating to these “stigmatized” properties. In most states, there is a duty to disclose. In Alberta and throughout most of Canada, there is no such legal requirement mandating Realtors to offer up the information. There are, however, ethical concerns that compel Realtors to answer truthfully when posed with questions from interested buyers and their agents. As a result, it is the responsibility of the buyer and the buyer’s Realtor to ask the right question s and assume the role of real estate detective.
The entire notion of stigma is personal and difficult to define. What seems troubling to one buyer may not seem so horrible to another. Nearly everyone can agree that some crimes are simply so disturbing to all that there is little choice but to demolish the structure and start over. Most stigmas, however, are not that horrific and can and will be overlooked by many. Sellers just need to find the right buyer for that property
Sellers and their Realtors are well advised to tell the truth when questioned about a stigmatized property and buyers and their agents must ask the right questions and do their own research to make sure that they will be comfortable owning and living in a home with a problematic history.
Remember that all homes have their own ghosts. Before moving ahead with a purchase, make the necessary inquiries to determine if they are ghosts you can live with.
Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.
About Bryon Howard
Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.