What do you do about GHOSTS in the neighborhood?

By
Real Estate Agent with The Nines Team At Keller Williams 01390564

What do you do about GHOSTS in the neighborhood?

A colleague and I recently listed a home in the Hellyer Park area of San Jose, California.  Since the home was tenant occupied and difficult to show, we decided to bring it to market with a price under the current comps and see how we would fair.  The week after our first open house we were in contract .. then 3 days into the inspection period we were out of contract!  The buyers' agent told us ... "my buyers found a haunted house in the neighborhood and they are freaked - so we're canceling!"

 

Disappointed but undaunted, we put the home back on the market, held another open house and produced another excited buyer and were back in contract.  Following up on why the earnest money deposit had not been received in escrow, the new buyers' agent says "They're canceling ... there's a haunted house a few blocks away and it has them scared!"

 

OK, so after two odd strikes we decided to dig deeper and see what was going on.  We found the "house" at issue now known as "The Hellyer Hell House."  A YouTube video pushed forth all the gory details, in living color!  Phones calls to the Sheriff's Department and the San Jose City Police produced no records of the dramatized events ... just local urban legend!

 

We decided to add a light-hearted reference to our marketing comments on the MLS and try and move on in our sales efforts.  HOWEVER, haunted houses and haunted neighborhoods are not common events here on the West Coast.  So I decided to ask the Active Rain community ... which may have more paranormal experience .... do you have a suggestion on how to address and market a similar circumstance?

 

JACK MOSSMAN

The Nines Team at Keller Williams

3133 W March Lane - Suite 1060

Stockton, Ca 95219

888-868-4398

 

 The Nines Team in Stockton

 

 

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haunted houses
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Ambassador
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Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Wow, it is tough when there are articles about a haunted house but sometimes the neighbors just scare off the buyers with ridiculous rumors. Good luck with your sale.

Aug 12, 2014 04:11 PM #35
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jack

It's an interesting, and challenging, issue to have, whether it is the house being sold or one nearby. There are several properties here in Carlsbad that are reportedly haunted. But I have not run up against any homes for sales that were reportedly haunted. And sometimes I think there are just lots of rumors that people lke to share.

A friend of mine, Mary Pope Handy, has a fascinating blog about haunted houses and I would say knows quite a bit about the topic. Hope you don't mind the diversion here.

Jeff

Aug 30, 2014 05:57 AM #36
Rainer
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Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton
The Nines Team At Keller Williams - Stockton, CA
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton

Jeff - not at all ... we're in contract again and hope to see closing before the end of September!

Aug 30, 2014 06:17 AM #37
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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Jack 

Nothing wrong with having a ghost host in the neighborhood.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Aug 30, 2014 12:16 PM #38
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Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton
The Nines Team At Keller Williams - Stockton, CA
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton

Lou - Alas, not all buyers would agree with you!

Aug 31, 2014 03:59 AM #39
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
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Jeff, gosh, what a fabulously fun post to read! I have smudged properties because of bad JuJu, but never had to EXORCISE one. Out of my field of expertise. However, when I was young, I was deeply intrigued by haunted houses and read many MANY books on it. Hans Holzer was a famous ghosthunter, known long before the cable show or Ghostbusters came out!

 

Aug 31, 2014 09:13 AM #40
Rainer
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Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton
The Nines Team At Keller Williams - Stockton, CA
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton

Gayle - If you click the link in Jeff's comment (#36) it will take you to a website that is chuck full of hauntings!  Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Aug 31, 2014 09:31 AM #41
Rainmaker
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Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

With the Owner's permission I would put it out there right up front.  "If you aren't afraid of Ghost in the Neighborhood, this may be the perfect home for YOU" type advertising.

Aug 31, 2014 02:15 PM #42
Rainmaker
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Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Lots of comments Jack, there was a "haunted home" tenants were moving out, it seemed it was haunted by a BOA and I am with the anchor on GMA I think I would prefer the ghost. Ghosts don't scare me especially if I can get a good value, I do like the light hearted approach.

Sep 01, 2014 05:59 AM #43
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a very interesting situation. I do not have any experience with haunted houses.

Sep 01, 2014 08:15 AM #44
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William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Jacj, This is certainly an interesting issue and hadn't thought about this topic in a very long time. I wish I had some useful advise but this is really way out of my pay grade. What's worse, is that I haven't even an idea of where to go for information, much less a solution. 

Sep 01, 2014 03:15 PM #45
Rainmaker
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Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Jack, 

Wow that is a tough one and certainly a situation I have never encountered. Is it possible to get someone on the local paper to write a story which discusses the real facts of the home/neighborhood and tells all the haunted stuff is Urban Legend? maybe you could write it up and get it published. 

Sep 02, 2014 06:06 AM #46
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Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I recently did a post on this. My state is different than yours, though. I talked with my state's legal counsel, and they asked how you can prove a house is haunted. So as a seller's agent...only disclose if the seller says. As a buyer's agent...disclose. '

Frankly this wouldn't turn me off. Especially if it was a few blocks away. 

I hope you don't mind me posting the link to the post. Remember, too, that state disclosures are different. Plus when I talked with my state's legal counsel, they acted like this was the first time they heard the question. 

Here's my post. 

Oct 27, 2014 04:00 PM #47
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Stay forward thinking and the ghosts take care of themselves. Love and light!

Nov 18, 2014 02:38 PM #48
Rainer
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John Jonas
ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants - Highland, UT
John Jonas

Jack, this is interesting and yet a tough issue. I myself never had an experience or encountered issues about "haunted houses" but I would agree with Evelyn Kennedy, just continue to find and use facts to counter the "Ghost stories".

Nov 23, 2014 04:23 PM #49
Rainmaker
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Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Well this is one experience I have never had and hope I never do.... hope the contract goes to settlement this time!

Dec 02, 2014 12:54 PM #50
Rainmaker
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Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

That's a challenge for sure and one I've never come across. Don't know how to approach it. Best of luck. 

 

 

Apr 22, 2015 07:29 AM #51
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Couple of ideas come to mind. Are the present renters fueling this because they may not want to move?

Wait a  month and have fun with the marketing leading up to Halloween.

Aug 14, 2016 11:42 AM #52
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Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton
The Nines Team At Keller Williams - Stockton, CA
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton

Thank you Margaret - but this was a post form last year ... we did close it, using a take-off on your idea.  We made the "haunted" a marketing theme and closed for over asking.  I appreciate your concern and following up!

Aug 17, 2016 10:53 AM #53
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton  That's great news! Congratulations.

Aug 17, 2016 11:23 AM #54
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