Haunted Houses...What Should An Agent Disclose?

Real Estate Agent with Homeward Real Estate

For all the apprentices in Project Blogger...I couldn't resist my own ghost story... 

In Florida, Realtors are required to disclose anything that "materially affects the property".  We ask  Sellers  to complete, and sign, a very thorough questionnaire about everything from survey and drainage issues, plumbing, electrical, roof, zoning...everything "material" to the property.  Realtors are not required to ask about things like burglaries, crime in the neighborhood, or sexual predators in the neighborhood.  That information is available through various websites and local law enforcement agencies. 

What about disclosing a death on the property? A Murder? A Suicide? Or, a lingering spirit? Does it make a difference if it is an evil spirit, or a friendly ghost?  How many people would knowingly buy, or rent, a haunted house? 

Read the rest of the article on the Real Estate Sizzle...

Jackie Colson-Miller
Funny Joshua...let me introduce you to Mrs. Walsh...Just curious about how many people have ever encountered a ghost.  I really didn't believe in them until I lived with one!
Jul 02, 2007 12:41 PM
Mary Pope-Handy
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley
A material fact is interpreted differently from one state to the next. In Oregon it relates to the physical realm. In California, it relates to anything that might impact a buyer's decision to buy (or how much to pay).

But a body dump - yeesh! That's the worst I've ever heard.
Jul 02, 2007 04:48 PM
After having lived in a haunted place, then having moved, and being ghost free and relieved now for ten years, I will now make it a point to get something in writing from seller and the agent on any potential home I intend to purchase in the future.  I do not intend on repeating the horrid living conditions I endured.  That is what brought me to investigate laws, here and in other states, and it seems to me that the general consenses is, don't ask, don't tell!  It is disturbing to me that some think less for the new homeowner than for the all mighty dollar.
Oct 21, 2007 11:43 AM
Jackie Colson-Miller
I think disclosure should be mandatory about ghosts, murders, drug dealings, etc. 
Oct 21, 2007 11:51 AM
Jeff Payne
The Payne Group at Keller Williams Success Realty - Panama City, FL
Panama City Real Estate

I don't think that we would be required to disclose ghosts, only items that would materially affect the value of the property and is not readily observable to the buyer and by readily observable, it does not mean ghosts.  Not everyone believes in ghosts and if an agent did not believe in this, how could they disclose it.

I have never seen anything on a sellers disclosure about ghosts.

Oct 21, 2007 01:22 PM
Leigh from Oklahoma
I have a question for any realtor that can offer a good answer about Oklahoma real estate laws pertaining to a "Stigmatized Property".  I am renting (not owning) a home that 4 years ago had a murder in it.  The woman was set on fire in the living room.  I've only been leasing the home for 2 months.  I just found out about its gruesome past because of the investigation being reopened.  Apparently, my current next door neighbors are the prime suspects and the police just served a search warrant to them two weeks ago and took their DNA.  Was my landlord suspose to disclose this to me?  Not only was the property burned and has been redone, but there was a murder with the prime suspects living next door.  I'm a single college student living alone.  I just wonder if I have anyway of getting out of my lease.  Any help would be great.
Nov 11, 2007 03:55 AM
Wanting to buy a haunted house in Southern Illinois.  Please con tack me.  Thank you, Cathy
Feb 21, 2008 04:14 PM

Wanting to buy a haunted house in Lincoln County, Oklahoma Please let me know if you find anything. Thank-You Maria

Mar 05, 2008 04:25 AM
Giuseppe "Joe" Pistone
JWC Florida Realty - Pembroke Pines, FL
If you represent the Buyer, what could it hurt if you disclose it?  Whether or not it is required to disclose.  No one wants to lose a sale, butthe buyer might apprecaite your honesty and realize that you are looking out for their best interests.  What would they think of you if you didn't tell them and then they bought the house and later found out you knew?  I think that would be the last house you sell them!
Mar 05, 2008 04:33 AM

There is no need to tell anyone whether there is a ghost in a house because under no circumstances would there be a ghost in a house as they don't exist. Children.

Jun 09, 2008 07:08 PM
Kevin O'Shea
Coldwell Banker - White Plains, NY
White Plains, NY Real Estate


There was a situation in NY where the former owners had published a book about a haunted house.

The owners didn't disclose and the sale was RESCINDED.  Unusual.

A lot of situations that don't have to be disclosed, should be.  I get permission from the seller.

Jun 09, 2008 08:27 PM
Jackie L.

Ghosts?  Haunted Houses?  "I really didn't believe in them until I lived with one!"  LOL!  You can't be serious!  Some of you kids really need to grow up.

P.S.  Here's a couple more facts I'd like to tell you about that may break your hearts as well.  Prepare yourselves:  There is no Santa Claus.  There is no Easter Bunny.  And most regrettably there is no Tooth Fairy.  Sorry to have to break it to you this way, but...

Sep 29, 2008 07:41 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I have never heard of anyone getting in trouble for over disclosure

Sep 29, 2008 09:39 PM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

We have to disclose everything. 
This, however, doesn't always affect the home in a negative way.  There are lots of people out there, who find that sort of thing fascinating.
I once showed a house where the husband was believed to have murdered his wife, and the buyer didn't care one single bit.  Freaked me out.  But I did my job.  I told him and told him again, and told him a thousand times. 
I disclose everything I know.  I like to sleep at night, even if there are ghosts. :)

Sep 30, 2008 03:29 PM
joe patterson

my cousin bought a house in the tampa area it was never disclosed that there was a murder suicide thereHe found out just before settlement but couldnt back out because he would have lost a substantial deposit.Havent heard of any apperitions yet

Oct 18, 2008 12:02 PM
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

What goes bump in the night does not have to be told here, that is unless its a leaky banging pipe.

Oct 19, 2008 01:40 AM
David Franklin Farkas - Amherst, MA

Great discussion...

I have story after story about ghosts... my experiences and my client's experiences. So for me, there is no doubt.

For the doubters, I'm sorry you feel the need to attack those who have an experience you have not had. It is said that you don't know WHAT you don't know and you don't even know THAT you don't know.

One of my clients is a former banker, mechanical engineer and chief investigator for a defense contractor. He was a non-believer until his experiences provided too much evidence to ignore. Experience trumps belief every time.

In the Nyack NY court case mentioned above the judge struggled with how to confirm a presence and what could be done about it if it was found.

He went as far as making a joke about Poltergeist inspectors being a new job and  said 'who you gonna call.' Still, since the four ghosts in that property were well documented and the sellers had advertised their B&B as haunted, the court agreed they should have disclosed and the contract was rescinded .

The judge was joking, but my work includes clearing ghosts from properties. Not 'ghost hunting.' Not shoo-ing them off. Helping them go home.

As for people who look for homes with ghosts, there are mental and physical  health issues involved in constant contact and sometimes breif contact with ghosts. They can also affect finances and damage technology.

As house pets go, get a dog. I prefer homes with charm and character, not chaming characters.

The staunch and out spoken non-believers now have interesting opinions about me, eh? But I bet those of you who have lived in haunted houses would have been excited to get a referral to me at the time?


Mar 27, 2009 02:29 PM
David Franklin Farkas


Ghost are just people whose bodies have died and they have not 'gone home.' They are confused and lost and still have their personality, since they have not completed their life. So, some are bullies but some are scared and timid. It's the full gamut of human beings.

The bullies thrive on creating fear and being in control. But WE are in charge in the this dimension. <g>

If you ever have issues like this, contact me. (50 guys, eh?)



Nov 15, 2009 03:30 AM

I have a haunted house,and  it will be going for sale soon. it is a 110 years old victorian,three story,lovley home,but it is haunted..have owned it for 12 years.but need to find a place with not so many stairs. And i would tell any one wantting to buy it that it is haunted... So if you want a house mines fore sale

Nov 18, 2011 10:15 AM
David Franklin Farkas


Before you sell, let's talk. My work is among other things, mitigating haunted houses. Check out and contact me for a free reading/assessment of your situation.


Nov 18, 2011 01:05 PM