Most of the time, the content on YoChicago focuses on new construction, but on occasion we come across a resale story that’s too important to pass up. Such is the case with this article (PDF) from the Wisconsin Realtors’ Association, which addresses the tricky business of selling a haunted house. (After all, who ever heard of a new-construction house that’s haunted?)
According to the article, haunting can put a dent in the resale value of your home (no surprise there), and if you have walls that bleed, you should probably alert potential buyers to their existence.
Wisconsin’s real estate license law only requires brokers to disclose a haunting if it has an effect on the physical condition of the property. In one case, a broker was told that the walls of the listed house “bled.” Given the physical effect on the house, that particular haunting was required to be disclosed. Most haunting questions deal with various apparitions and chain rattling — brokers are not required to disclose this form of haunting. Sellers, on the other hand, may have to disclose these occurrences if a reasonable person would think they have a significant impact on value.
However, “The legal answer isn’t always the final answer,” the article explains. And because the buyer will probably find out about haunting over time, “real estate agents may encourage sellers to let them disclose the haunting in order to avoid potential future disputes with the buyer.”