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Resident Evil –Selling Your House With A Spooky Guest

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

According to research, a house with a spooky history can devalue a home by up to 20%*.

Estate agents suggest that it can also be twice as difficult to sell compared to a normal property as potential home buyers are spooked, resulting in the asking price of the property being drastically reduced.

If you have a haunted home do you need to tell your buyer?

It is not a requirement for you or your estate agent to disclose specific information about a property’s history but for a Phasmophobic buyer (a person with a fear of ghosts) this could lead to a case of non-disclosure under the Misdescriptions Act of 1991. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ask about the property’s history and the seller to disclose the information.

Could it increase the price of my property?

In some cases a good ghost story could actually increase the selling price. Stately homes and country estates with a haunting history often benefit from the mystery. One of the oldest hotels in Northamptonshire, Rushton Hall, has a particularly famous resident. The roaming horseman of Rushton Hall, is said to be roaming the grounds with his hunting dog, in the area where their bodies were discovered during a renovation of the hall.

If I don’t disclose the information will it end up in court?

With 1 in 8 homes in the UK said to be haunted, you would think conveyancers deal with haunted houses on a regular basis but it’s not something encountered at Wilson Browne Solicitors.  Our conveyancers have dealt with many houses in the village of Mears Ashby but have never been notified of any of the witches’ tales that are rumoured to have occurred.

Sarah Bradshaw, a local woman, was accused of being a witch and practising witchcraft in 1785. In order to try and prove her innocence, she was ducked in the pond at the Manor House where she subsequently drowned. Although this proved that she wasn’t in fact a witch, it was too late for Sarah herself. People have since rumoured that they see her floating over the water at night.

A purchaser would find it difficult to prove in a court of law that a house or estate is haunted and so the onus is on the buyer to ask specific questions.  Thankfully the internet provides a wealth of historic tales so do your home work and read up on the area and the house before you put the offer in.

*Move with us 2014

 

Jenny Woodruff

Posted:

Jenny Woodruff

Partner

Jenny is a Partner and head of the Residential Conveyancing Team. She has extensive knowledge of the conveyancing process, including: dealing with freehold and leasehold sales & purchases; new build purchases; remortgages; transfers of equity; shared ownership; help to buy transactions & general property advice.