While many people say they don't believe in ghosts, some local government lawmakers do, or they wouldn't make a law requiring you to disclose a haunted dwelling.
Haunted real estate at one time was taboo and if someone had a feeling there was a ghost in their home, it would be kept under wraps. Today a haunted house or building is considered “psychologically impacted,” along with homes that had a murder, suicide or one that was used as a drug house.
According to the Northwest Herald on October 13, it doesn't matter whether you believe in ghosts or paranormal occurrences, "the reality is some properties have exceptional experiences within them." While most states require that psychologically impacted property must be disclosed during viewing, not all states require you to be up front about a haunting in your disclosure. While many folks don’t believe in ghosts, it is apparent some government lawmakers do, or at least they do in some states, like New York.
In New York it is against the law to sell a haunted house without a disclosure, according to Haunt Spot.com. If you don’t let the buyers know you believe there is something other worldly living in your house and this causes a problem for them once they’ve moved in, you can find yourself slapped with a lawsuit.
Some places, like Illinois, don't require that you disclose that a ghost is living in your house as you go to sell it. The Illinois Real Estate License Act doesn't require the seller to disclose such strange goings on.
The law in Illinois doesn't include you disclosing anything that won’t physically affect the house. If it isn't messing with the structure, the roof, the plumbing or the furnace, the seller isn't obligated to disclose the existence of paranormal activities on the property.
Be aware, even though the law doesn't require a haunting disclosure in your state, it is a good idea for you to be upfront if you are selling a house with strange and unexplained activity, suggests the real estate site, Haunt Spot. If a seller moves in and finds the place is haunted, they can still take you to court and they might win if they can prove that you knew about the paranormal activity in the house.
Even if they don't win, it could be a time-consuming and costly venture to have to go through this in court. It is better to be upfront and honest from the get-go and have all the bases covered so nothing comes back to haunt you! On the bright side, there are actually home buyers out there that want to purchase a haunted house as their residence.
Usually houses that are disclosed as haunted sit on the market a lot longer than the average house. Sometimes homeowners are forced to make a reduction in the sale price to sell their homes that come with that spooky extra something.
As for the home buyer, even if the state you are buying a home in doesn't require haunting disclosures, it isn't considered crazy for you to inquire if the house you are about to buy is haunted. You can always request more information from your real estate agent on a house that was deemed haunted in past news paper articles or one that is rumored to be haunted by the locals.