U.S. Markets closed

Haunted Real Estate: Half of Homeowners Would Sell House Believed to Have Ghosts

Tamara E. Holmes
Haunted Real Estate: Half of Homeowners Would Sell House Believed to Have Ghosts

Halloween may be a time when people enjoy a good fright, but a new survey suggests that, for many, a haunted house is no laughing matter.

Online real estate marketplace Realtor.com commissioned Toluna Research to poll 1,000 consumers about how they would react to finding out they had inherited a “haunted house.” More than half of respondents were spooked by the idea, with 51% saying they would sell the house immediately, and another 6% saying they would have the house torn down.

Others said they would try to rectify the situation, as 23% said they would try renovating the house to see if that would make the house less frightful. But 20% said they’d shrug it off and would live in the house as planned.

As for buying — rather than inheriting — haunted house, many consumers were just as skittish. A 54% majority said they would never purchase a home believed to have ghosts, while 21% said they’d take their chances if they liked the house, and another 21% said they might buy a haunted house.

Almost a quarter say they’ve lived with ghosts

Most respondents — 58% — said they had never lived in a haunted house, but 23% said they had in fact shared their home with spirits. Another 20% weren’t certain, but thought they may have spent time in a house that was haunted.

Of those who felt certain that they had lived in a haunted house, most (58%) said they didn’t know it was haunted until after they moved in. However, 37% said they thought the house was haunted before buying it, but went through with the deal anyway.

As for what factors made them think it was haunted…

  • 65% said they heard strange noises in the house
  • 52% said they saw strange shadows in the house
  • 48% said items moved on their own
  • 47% said certain rooms felt haunted
  • 46% said they felt like they were being touched while in the house
  • 44% said the house had hot and cold spots

Survey respondents were slightly more open to the idea of living in a neighborhood with a haunted house than actually living in such a house, themselves. Nearly 43% said they would be willing to live next door to a house they thought was haunted. However, 31% said even living next to a haunted house would not be an option.

A house is not only a place to live, but also an investment, so it makes sense for buyers to consider how difficult it would be to sell their home later down the line. If homebuyers are less likely to buy a house that is thought to be haunted, then you should consider this as you shop for a house.

If you are saddled with a haunted house, meanwhile, a seller’s market may be the best time to try to unload it. With that said, knowing the right time to sell a house is critical for any homeowner looking to get the most for his or her property.