If a Ghost Materializes - Is it a Material Fact?

By
Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

http://www.myrljeffcoat.com

Homeowners are often curious about what they will be required to disclose in the process of selling their homes.

They ponder whether they will need to disclose the real reason they are selling the home is because of noisy and obnoxious neighbors.

An occasional Seller will question whether the ghost or two, "residing" in the home, needs to be disclosed.

While we're observing 
the Halloween spirit, I'll ask a question to add a little humor - When a ghost materializes, does it become a material fact; but become an immaterial fact if it does not materialize?

In the State of California, we are a long way from a couple decades ago, when Residential Purchase Agreements were one page, with no disclosures.  We now have home-sale disclosure laws requiring Sellers to reveal issues or problems, which have a material effect on market value or desirability of a residence.

It is important that Sellers disclose any neighbors, which are noisy and obnoxious.  There is a case, which the California Court of Appeal granted rescission and refund of the buyer's money because of the seller's failure to disclose the neighborhood nuisance. The case is Shapiro v. Sutherland (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 666.

It is important to understand that certain things considered obnoxious, to you as a Seller, many be somewhat attractive to a potential buyer - for instance, the ghost(s) one particular Seller was concerned about.  In the California Mother Lode, there are at least two inns, which come to mind, considered (or at least advertised) as haunted.  It seems "ghostly" presence, can occasionally be seen as having value.

To summarize, in addition to the usual issues coming to mind in disclosure - the faulty plumbing, the electrical outlet that doesn't function, the smoke that billows out of the fireplace into the house, because the chimney needs to be swept, needs to be disclosed.  Better yet, if it costs a few dollars to fix the defect or issue, than by all means, repair it.  It will likely pay dividends in a home sale.

Full disclosure of all construction defects of the home, as well as neighborhood nuisances, and issues are very important.  Full disclosure is beneficial to Sellers as well as Buyers, because to not disclose, can become costly; particularly, when an issue hasn't been addressed, and finds its way into litigation, haunting you like a ghost or two.

If you have more questions about what needs to be disclosed, be certain to ask your real estate professional.  We will be happy to discuss in more detail, the issues of your particular property that need disclosure.

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Rainmaker
1,434,002
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Myrl,

 I had a call someone wanted out of lease because they had ghosts and wanted lawyer advice I told them I Do not pratice law and to consult a real estate attorney!

Oct 31, 2016 08:26 AM #18
Rainmaker
2,704,764
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Myrl Jeffcoat it is always best to disclose, disclose, disclose!

 

Happy Halloween! 

Oct 31, 2016 10:40 AM #19
Rainmaker
3,247,604
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Myrl

Disclose or be sued . . . . I'm going with disclose and charge the ghost estate rent.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Oct 31, 2016 11:01 AM #20
Rainmaker
2,050,765
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

With all the rules which exist in CA concerning the sale/purchase of a home all buyers/sellers need an expert to help them just like you. 

Nov 01, 2016 06:41 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,434,002
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Myrl,

 Just stopped by to say hello and hope you are having a wonderful day!

Nov 01, 2016 06:55 AM #22
Ambassador
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I had a listing that I just sold that had an elderly lady with some mental problems. When she didn't take her meds she would cuss like a sailor (some neighbors said). Not having any personal experience with her I didn't say anything. The agent for the buyer said I should have said something before closing. We are not required in TN to disclose that kind of thing and as far as I knew it was heresay. 

Nov 01, 2016 11:46 AM #23
Rainmaker
2,494,472
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Myrl, best to disclose as it will eventually come out!

Nov 01, 2016 12:23 PM #24
Rainmaker
2,050,765
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Myrl, I agree with you as I can not wait until this election is finally over. 

Nov 02, 2016 06:14 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,434,002
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Myrl,

 Just wanted to stop and by and say hello and I hearing the news and so looking to it be over.

Nov 02, 2016 08:35 AM #26
Rainmaker
3,247,604
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Myrl

How about this . . . . We only have to disclose the ghost if it materializes during the inspection . . . . Just saying.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Nov 02, 2016 10:12 AM #27
Rainmaker
3,799,086
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Myrl Jeffcoat ,

Just goes to show you hoe real estate varies, We do not disclose bad neighbors and I'm sure if you did disclose someone was a bad neighbor there is a stong possibility you'd be sued for slander. 

Nov 02, 2016 11:11 AM #28
Rainmaker
2,050,765
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Myrl, I also do not like losing an extra hour of daylight with the upcoming time change. 

Nov 03, 2016 06:59 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,434,002
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX

Myrl,

 I can't wait until Sunday! I think  the weather is going to cooperate keep your fingers crossed ! Have a good evening!

Nov 03, 2016 09:47 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,214,912
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Disclose, disclose, disclose, but what needs to be disclosed?  Material facts not personal facts.  Question is:  Do the ghosts stay with the house or leave with the family selling the property?

 

Nov 03, 2016 11:00 AM #31
Ambassador
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Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

You can't help but chuckle at the humor of this great post Myrl. I can practically imagine a bad neighbor or ghost disclosure.

Nov 03, 2016 11:50 AM #32
Rainmaker
4,797,131
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Myrl.  I would think the presence of ghosts would be a great draw for a number of "reality" based TV shows.

Nov 03, 2016 10:42 PM #33
Rainmaker
2,753,228
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I have experienced a little bit of this and it's a hard thing to tight rope about. To each their own in this sense

Nov 05, 2016 04:57 PM #34
Ambassador
2,299,090
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Myrl

This is a very interesting post of yours I missed before Halloween. I have seen ghosts most of my life and never thought of them materializing

Nov 06, 2016 01:37 AM #35
Ambassador
3,675,572
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Myrl, so what if you used to have a ghost and then had her professionally removed from the house?  Do you have to disclose?  I did have one, and she's gone.  I miss her.  

Nov 08, 2016 02:20 PM #36
Rainmaker
704,651
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Good one Myrl. Ghosts have been a subject-matter her in AZ, but never seems to get any traction for any decisions.... lack of transparency I guess.... LOL. 

Nov 30, 2016 06:53 AM #37
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Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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