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October 24, 2014

Two-Thirds of Buyers OK With Haunted Houses

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Two-Thirds of Buyers OK With Haunted Houses

Does the carefully staged furniture in your new listing move around between showings? Do strange thumps and moans come from nowhere? Good news: Today's buyers seem to be OK with that.

Financial news site The Street reports that only 35 percent of the 1,910 people responding to a REALTOR.com poll said they would avoid a haunted house.

There's a catch for the remaining 65 percent, though: About half of the people who said they'd consider buying wanted a discount of between 1 percent and 30 percent. Another 36 percent said they'd expect an even higher discount.

The poll found a number of spooky deal breakers: 65 percent would pass on a house that had strange voices, 64 percent would dodge a house with levitating objects, 59 percent would skip a house with visible ghosts, and 52 percent would rather avoid a house with unexplained noises, such as footsteps or slamming doors.

"It's really interesting that so many people would be into purchasing a home even if it was rumored to be haunted," The Street quotes REALTOR.com's Lexie Puckett. "Essentially, more people were open to the idea than not."

Florida-based practitioner Eric Martell says it's tough to pinpoint "what kind of damage a spirit does to a house's value. I don't think any appraiser on the planet can answer that and say, 'Well, I always discount [haunted houses] by 10%.'"

Source: "Haunted House? 65% Might Still Buy," The Street (10/31/2012)

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