Posted in: Selling a home

Can I sell my haunted house?

What to do if your house is haunted

Key insights:

  • Minnesota disclosure laws do not require sellers to disclose “perceived paranormal activity” to buyers.
  • Carbon monoxide leaks and electricity shorts can cause spooky occurrences in your home.
  • It can help to look into your home’s history to determine what is behind the slamming doors or drafty areas.

Have you ever felt a draft that can’t be explained, or watched a door in your house slam shut when you’re home alone? It’s more common than you think! A recent survey shows that 49% believe that they live in a haunted house.

But are there ways to scientifically explain (and debunk) the spooky goings-on in your home? And how does “perceived paranormal activity” affect your ability to sell a home? Here’s everything you need to know about living in a spooky home — and how to sell a house you suspect is haunted.

Do I have to tell prospective buyers if my house is haunted?

Per Minnesota’s disclosure laws, sellers must state if there are any “material facts” that could affect the buyers’ use or enjoyment of the property. One exception to this law is that home sellers do not have to disclose “perceived paranormal activity” to any homebuyers. This law was put into effect after a homeowner in New York sued when they found out they were about to buy a “haunted” house.

The short answer, then, is that if you want to sell your house, you do not have to disclose to potential buyers that you believe your house is haunted. (However, 38% of those who say they live in a haunted house were told by the previous owners about all the spooky on-goings.)

What’s causing that sound? Can I fix it?

There’s a longstanding feud between scientists who believe they can explain away most paranormal activities and the real-life ghostbusters who spend their time communicating with the other side. And while we’re a no-judgment zone, we do know that some drafts, sounds and light flashes can be explained logically.

So before you decide that you have to sell your haunted house, try looking into these alternative causes for haunted happenings.

Drafts: If your home has unexplained cold areas or the doors keep slamming shut, don’t immediately assume there’s a ghost in your house, upset that you replaced her vintage door knocker. Check windows, doors and your chimney to ensure they are all properly sealed and see if the drafts vanish for good once the gaps are filled in.

Noises in the walls: Before you decide that the noises in your walls or attic are due to paranormal activity, put out traps or hire a professional to check for rodents, bats and squirrels. Even small critters can make deceivingly loud noises that are easy to mistake for an intruder or apparition.

Flickering lights: Whether your lights flicker on and off or the bulbs burn out quickly without explanation, consider hiring an electrician to check for electricity shorts in your home.

Orbs of light in photos: Do your photos tend to include orbs or flashes of light that don’t come from your interior lighting? Make sure that your camera lens is clean of dust, debris and hair particles. And if the orbs only show up occasionally, consider that it could be from floating particles in the air — which is especially common in attics, basements and other rooms that don’t get much traffic or routine cleaning.

Visions: If you suddenly start to have persistent visions of paranormal figures or scenes inside your house, be sure to check carbon monoxide levels immediately. After prolonged exposure, the toxic gas can lead to hallucinations that are even more dangerous than they appear.

Top tips for selling a haunted house

If you check the above and still believe that your house is haunted, you’ll want to behave like any typical home seller would as they list their home for sale. Get to work fixing up the small issues your house has, taking special care to:

  • Trim up overgrown vines, shrubs and trees.
  • Repair cracks in the walls.
  • Light the pathways and driveway for nighttime visitors.
  • Brighten the home’s interior with a light, neutral paint color.
  • Fix creaky floorboards.

After all, even if your home is haunted, it doesn’t have to look that way.

Is there anything else I can do about my haunted house?

If logical explanations fail, and you’re not ready to move on, consider doing some research on your home’s history. The property’s location and past owners may be able to help clarify what you are seeing and hearing. Your local library and historical society are great places to find out what’s happened in your area, and they love to share their knowledge. If it would give you peace of mind, you can also hire a paranormal team to assess the home.

If you think it’s time to meet with a professional about selling your home, call Edina Realty or your agent today. We have experts who can help whether your home is haunted by ghosts, too many belongings… or you just want a fresh start.

Love all things spooky? Check out Minnesota’s most haunted homes.

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