With a poor reputation comes a home that can be difficult to sell. If your property is considered stigmatized you will have to go the extra mile in order to find a buyer and a good selling price. Here’s what you should know about selling your stigmatized property:
It’s Your Duty To Disclose
Like with all other properties, disclosing problems with the stigmatized property will go a long way in establishing trust with the buyer and protect you from a potential lawsuit. Depending on what state you live in, you may have to disclose the following information about a stigmatized property:
- Deaths on the property, either from suicide or murder.
- Debt of the previous owner to forewarn the buyer about potentially harassing calls or visits from creditors.
- Criminal activity on the property, be it from drug dealing or prostitution, to again forewarn the buyers about potential unwanted visitors.
- Phenomena like “hauntings,” especially if you have made mention of ghosts publicly in the past.
Thankfully, selling a stigmatized property like a haunted house may not be as difficult as you may believe. In a recent survey, Realtor.com found that many people are open to living in a haunted house if that means living in a better neighborhood and getting more square footage for their money. Like with all buyers, it’s about finding the right one.
Remember, even if you aren’t required to disclose a stigma surrounding a home, it is imperative that you not lie or misrepresent it when asked. Honestly really is the best policy.
Renovate The Property & Keep It Clean
If your property is infamous, renovating the property may be the best way to help remove a stigma in order to sell it. Changing the way the exterior and interior looks can go a long way in helping people forget or change their perception of the home.
If you’re not in the position to renovate the home, keeping it clean both inside and out will not only make you a good neighbor but remove any potential reminders of the property’s past. So feel free to give the house a new coat of paint and beautiful new landscaping.
Rent It Out
If you find you still cannot sell your stigmatized property, consider renting it out for a while. Renting out a stigmatized property is a good way to lessen the stigma around the home, especially if it would otherwise go uninhabited.
The reasoning behind this is that an unoccupied home with a stigma surrounding it (like a haunted house or a place where a famous murder occurred) is more prone to break-ins by thrill seekers, which is called the “Haunted House Effect.” Keeping it lit and inhabited will help make the place homier and more likely to sell in the future. Keeping up the home’s curb appeal will also help reduce this effect.
Find An Expert
When selling your stigmatized property, it’s best not to do it alone. Find an expert real estate agent who has extensive experience selling homes and knows the Realtor Code of Ethics. They will help guide you through the process and keep all parties safe legally.