You may have noticed that it is Halloween, the time to celebrate all things that go bump in the night and all things ghoulish. This got us thinking at Zoom995.
As estate agents, we have sold thousands of properties in our 30+ years of business. We have many stories to tell of properties of all shapes, sizes and styles. We have sold old houses that looked like they were out of the Adams Family (there’s one for the over 40’s!) but we have never actually had to state that a property was haunted on a property description.
We have never had a seller tell us that their property was haunted. However, we do know of a property that another agent was instructed to sell in Crawley even though it appeared to have poltergeist taps! They would go off inadvertently despite being investigated by plumbers. It appeared that something didn’t want that property to be sold!
Under the Property Misdescriptions Act of 1991 we have to disclose anything that is brought to our attention that may affect a buyer's perception of the property but that is based on real world things such as known disputes with neighbours etc. So what about ghosts, poltergeists and the rest of the spiritual world? Should the estate agent ask sellers whether their property is haunted or whether they have experienced any supernatural occurrences while living there?
Most vendors may not feel comfortable with disclosing such things thinking, understandably, that it may deter potential buyers! They may be looking to offload the property or may be concerned that suggesting such a thing will make them seem ridiculous!
We have never been asked by potential buyers on a viewing although some places that we have shown have been perfect candidates for a ghost or two! Creaking floorboards, dark rooms, shadowy decoration, flickering lights and very old properties all have a natural spookiness to them.
There are now holiday rentals that are popular on the basis of being haunted so why wouldn’t such people wish to live in a haunted property? If a property is haunted, does it enhance its attractiveness and price? There are plenty of horror fans out there and those with an interest in otherworldly matters. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin famously bought Boleskine House, a large manor house in the seventies because it had been the ex home of the renowned Occultist Aleister Crowley.
There is serious side to this. A haunted house was referred to the Property Ombudsman and cost a potential vendor their deposit. They claimed that the agent should have disclosed the fact that the property they were interested in was haunted after they discovered the property's history in a book by chance. They claimed that the vendor and agent should have disclosed these details before the viewings and took it to the property Ombudsman who ruled against them.
So if you are buying or about to begin looking, make sure you ask all of the relevant questions before committing. You never know what you could end up with.
We would love to hear your haunted house stories
Have you ever bought a property and ended up with an extra unexpected house guest? Have you purchased somewhere that has come with a poltergeist? Would you live in a haunted house? Tweet us at @zoom995property or post a message on the Zoom995 Facebook page or on Instagram @ZOOM_995
We wish everyone a happy Halloween, whatever you are (cue Thriller-esque laugh!). Don’t have nightmares!