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Does a real estate agent have to disclose a haunting?


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#1 dezeq85

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 03:05 PM

HI Everyone

I am new here. My question is a bit odd. My fiance and I are in the process of buying a house. Does the seller have to disclose if they suspect there is a haunting? We live in MA.

Thanks in Advance

#2 Tantric Kitten

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 03:27 PM

No.

Nor do they have to inform you that any criminal activity took place in the house, the seller's reason for listing or anything else of the sort.

When you see a home you like, do your homework, go to city hall and pull permit history, look up the abstract/title information, go to the police office and request any public records pertaining to the address (and ask, if the clerk seems nice, how the neighborhood seems) and see if there are any listings in the local historical society's records pertaining to either the specific house or the land it's on.

If there is any work done to the house that needs a permit pulled and one hasn't been... have the sellers pull a permit and get an inspection retroactively for all work done (especially if there's gas appliances involved) as a condition of the purchase agreement.

My husband and I knew this stuff... and didn't do it in the house we own currently (though we did do it on a house we bid on and lost) and we REALLY regret it.

#3 Redhead

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 03:38 PM

Actually, the laws vary state to state as to whether or not paranormal activity needs to be disclosed. Check with your local real estate agency or the financial institution that you are working with to find out what the law is in Mass. There are states that have this type of disclosure law in effect, and have had them for many years.
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#4 GhostCat

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 03:58 PM

The answer is YES... The owner's here is MA have to fill out a "seller statement" before they list their home. They have to disclose everything wrong with the home. No, there is not a question on there that asks if your house is haunted, lol and most people who feel their house is haunted do not disclose it. Haunted homes are only disclosed if they are famous ones, such as the Lizzie Borden House, etc. Also if you buy a "haunted house", it is hard to blame the owner for not disclosing it.....you would have to prove that it is haunted and it was haunted before you bought it. The realtor does have to ask if a death took place in the home, especially if it was a murder or suicide and the seller HAS to disclose that.....those are facts can be looked into and have to be disclosed. I was a realtor here in MA for about 7 years. We did have a home for sale in our office where a man committed suicide. Before anyone looked at the home, we HAD to tell them, and usually 90% did not want to see it after hearing that. I have never known anyone to admit that there house was haunted when selling it though, and it is not a question on the seller's statement. So the answer to your question....Yes, they have to disclose it by law, but you will probably never find anyone who actually does.
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#5 AnnieV

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 04:18 PM

Hi dezeq...I don't don't know the answer to your question, but I wanted to pop in to say welcome!!!
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#6 dezeq85

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 06:10 PM

Thanks everyone. I have been doing my homework and have been proactive with what questions I do ask.It's not a deal breaker to me. We have been looking at really old houses (built in 1780 etc) and if anything I think it would add character to the house.

I wouldn't blame the seller at all if we bought a house that had activity in it. I guess what I am saying is, it's not a deal breaker but if the seller is aware of activity I would like it to be disclosed.

I am just not sure how to ask it?

I am firm in my beliefs but I don't want my Realtor to think I am a kook. :(

Thanks Again



Thanks Annie for the nice welcome!

#7 Kira

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 06:47 PM

If the seller doesn't know the house is haunted, he/she does not have to disclose it. It is possible that a house is haunted, but the current occupants are not sensitive to spirit activity. Also, if you watch any TV shows, it is very hard to prove that a house is haunted.

It is the sellers obligation to list everything that is "wrong" with the house that he is aware of. However, he may think spirit activity is something "wrong" with the house or may be so used to it that it is a non-issue. It is the obligation of the realtor to tell the buyer what she/he knows about the house. However for the most part, it is the potential buyer's obligation to himself to research the property and land records before entering into a deal. Whereas a murder, suicide or some other crime scene would be part of the public record, hauntings.....not so much.

Welcome to Ghostvillage.

Do you want the house to be haunted? I mean chances are with a house built that long ago in Massachusetts, there could some activity. I'm in CT and we have lots of haunted houses right here in my town, mine included! Just remember, they can't hurt you and if you do purchase a home with a "resident" in it, just realize he/she may be a bit confused and could cause activity because it is scared of you.

Best of luck, house hunting is very exciting!
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#8 DaVine

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 06:55 PM

It depends on the state..While I was in living in FL there was a case that the agent did not disclose this info and they got sued bc in FL you HAVE to..:(
When skepticism blinds evidence, it can result in dyer consequences beyond our control.And in an unknown field like the paranormal, who actually is an expert? Is research concrete? No. Just because you can't hold it and touch it and analyze it does not mean it does not exist. Ghosts have no boundaries like humans do. Anything you can imagine can be done. Who is to say that what I see and hear isn't what you see and hear but it still a part of my reality and realm and just not yours..Those that claim to be experts only disillusion themselves into thinking they know of something that can only be known once we cross into the great beyond.Guidance from DaVine

#9 Tantric Kitten

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 06:57 PM

How about "has anything unusual ever happened to you while you lived in the house" at the closing after it's obvious that you're not going to back out?

My MIL lives in a haunted house. About 5 years after they bought the house, the former owners came by and asked if they could check it out (my in-laws completely renovated it inside and out). While they were walking around they asked if she'd ever met "Spencer". The answer was an emphatic "YES"... everyone in the house knew him!

Edited by Tantric Kitten, 01 March 2008 - 06:58 PM.


#10 dezeq85

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 06:59 PM

HI Kira! Thanks for the welcome.



I understand that they may not be sensitive to the activity and that is fine. The house I think we are going to end up buying was built in 1780 and they will be some renovations going on if we purchase it. The last house we had was built in 1884 and we did some restoration on it and the activity picked up .

When you walk into the house there is a feeling of being watched. Not in a bad way but its curious.
The thing is this house is hopefully going to be our "forever" house, I am not opposed to it being haunted.The house I grew up in was haunted so I am not scared of it hurting me or my fiance. This sounds a bit weird but the energy in the hosue can only be described like a mischievous child.m It is pretty neat.

If the seller has any information I would love to hear it. I don't want them to think that if there is activity in the house that I would go running for the hills.

Thanks everyone for your help so far. :ghost:

#11 dezeq85

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 07:02 PM

Tantric Kitten

Thats a great idea.That is probably how I will approach it. I am a huge history buff so if the owners do have any stories I would love to hear them. After the closing is probably the best time to ask.

Thanks Again

#12 GhostCat

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 07:11 PM

Sounds like you have a "feel" about the house even more than the present owners. Since you grew up in a haunted house, you know what you may be dealing with. Right now I am a real estate appraiser as well as a middle school teacher. I go into lots of houses. I get that "feel" from the old homes....I live in northeast MA in communities with homes that are around 200-300 years old. I grew up in a haunted house too, and old home, 150 years old. I personally don't like that "feel" from an older home, too much baggage for me, and probably lingering spirits attached. Not that that bothers me, it bothers me not knowing who/why they are there. My house I live in now, is my house...lol, my husband built it and any spirits that come to visit, at least I know who they are. Good luck in your search for a home, actually it is a good time to buy in Massachusetts. What part of MA are you looking into?
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#13 dezeq85

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 07:23 PM

Ghost Cat

The house before this that we renovated had a very melancholy sad, feel to it.I didn't like that very much.I felt terrible for whatever was there. I wish I could describe better how this house feels because its different. The house I grew up in had a residual haunting and that was different because you really didn't feel much. No dread,sadness,and I wasn't scared.

We looked at one house and the whole time I was in there the hair on the back on my neck stood on end(the fiance of course loved it lol) I hustled out of there as quick as I could.


We are looking on the South Shore. Easton,Weston,Westwood Areas. I really wanted to move to the North Shore but we ended up deciding to stay closer to our family.

#14 Anicia

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 08:23 PM

Here in California I believe it is required to tell the potential buyer the history of the house, but I'm not sure if "paranormal" activity goes along with that. The "normal" half of my family does real estate. haha

#15 Kira

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 08:29 PM

Dezeq85,

Just be aware that once you start renovating this house, if you purchase it, activity will be stirred up. If it is not a malevolent entity, then you have nothing to worry about and it actually sounds like you are kind of hoping it does have a ghost.

There was a post on this board a while ago about people who were specifically looking to purchase haunted homes. So there is a market for them. The seller just may not be willing to discuss it because most people don't want to be thought of as crazy for seeing/hearing/feeling/smelling spirits. On GV we are all open minded about the paranormal, but most people aren't that way.

I was wondering if there was any way you could be in the home alone without the realtor and owner to do a little investigating of your own? You seem to be sensitive to spirit activity, so if you could be alone, maybe you could call out to whomever/whatever is there and let it know that you are not afraid of it and will not disrespect it when and if you move in. I always keep in mind that they were alive at one time, so as long as it is not evil, it can be reasoned with. You may even find out that it is stuck and needs to move on, in which case a little prayer and telling it that it's time to go into the light may help. However some spirits are just fine where they are and have no intention of leaving. I have posted here before about the grumpy old man who lives in my basement. He knows he's dead, but chooses not to leave. So we've made peace and when I go down the cellar to do laundry at night I always say hello to him and ask how he is today. Then I say good bye when I go back upstairs. I don't even have to do this aloud. He can hear me no matter what. Heck, he probably knows I'm writing about him right now.

Anyway, I've gone on enough, I tend to do that as everyone will attest.

Do you have any pictures of the house or is there a realtor website where it's posted? Some of us can pick up on spirits from pictures even when there is nothing obviously showing; we just can feel a presence or the mood.

Sounds exciting and as Ghostcat said, a great time to buy in Massachusetts. Hope you're going to be close to the water.

Kira
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