It’s the spooky season! With all the creative and frightening Hallowe’en decorations being displayed around the neighbourhood, the supernatural is top of mind for many, as of late. But what if a house that is for sale is actually rumoured to be ‘haunted’? We’re unveiling what that might mean, and how it could affect who moves in.
Disclosing properties with a haunting past
While it would be tricky to pinpoint if a home actually has any ghostly inhabitants, some properties may be stigmatized. A “stigmatized” property could include a home where a murder or suicide has taken place, where a notorious individual has lived (such as a crime leader or murderer), where ongoing crime is being committed, and yes, a home where there are claims that the home is haunted.
According to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), a stigma is “a non-physical, intangible attribute of a property that may elicit a psychological or emotional response on the part of a potential buyer”—and it’s not surprising that the scenarios listed above could give some people the heebie-jeebies. Luckily, real estate agents should disclose this knowledge to potential buyers for ethical reasons, so they can make an informed decision about purchasing and moving in.
Benefits to buying a ‘haunted’ home
Not everyone would run away from a house that’s been deemed haunted. In fact, there could be a few worthwhile benefits:
- A better price. There could be less competition and you could get a good deal, since a haunted house isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
- A claim to fame. Some people may find living in a haunted home appealing—plus, you can really lean into the theme around Hallowe’en.
- The opportunity to make it an attraction. Staying in or visiting a haunted property is a bucket list item for some people, so the home could be an investment opportunity as a short-term rental.
How to prepare for a home that’s haunted
If you bought a home that has a spooky past, there are a couple of things you could do to make the transition easier. Some people recommend cleansing with sage to promote positive energy, or hiring a professional like a Reiki expert or a Medium to help—but you can also hire professional cleaners before moving in so you can start with a blank slate in your new home.