Two-Thirds of Buyers OK With Haunted Houses

October 31, 2012

Does the carefully staged furniture in your new listing move around between showings? Do strange thumps and moans come from nowhere? Good news: Today's buyers seem to be OK with that.

Financial news site The Street reports that only 35 percent of the 1,910 people responding to a REALTOR.com poll said they would avoid a haunted house.

There's a catch for the remaining 65 percent, though: About half of the people who said they'd consider buying wanted a discount of between 1 percent and 30 percent. Another 36 percent said they'd expect an even higher discount.

The poll found a number of spooky deal breakers: 65 percent would pass on a house that had strange voices, 64 percent would dodge a house with levitating objects, 59 percent would skip a house with visible ghosts, and 52 percent would rather avoid a house with unexplained noises, such as footsteps or slamming doors.

"It's really interesting that so many people would be into purchasing a home even if it was rumored to be haunted," The Street quotes REALTOR.com's Lexie Puckett. "Essentially, more people were open to the idea than not."

Florida-based practitioner Eric Martell says it's tough to pinpoint "what kind of damage a spirit does to a house's value. I don't think any appraiser on the planet can answer that and say, 'Well, I always discount [haunted houses] by 10%.'"

Source: "Haunted House? 65% Might Still Buy," The Street (10/31/2012)

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