The Rules In Massachusetts About Having To Tell A Potential Buyer Your House Is Haunted

Posted on: 15 April 2016

There are a lot of things that you have to disclose to potential buyers of your home. You have to tell them about the heating, plumbing, foundation, and other physical aspects of the property that affect the livability of the home, and in some cases, you have to tell them if the house is haunted. A haunted house can be intriguing for some people, but it can also scare some people away from buying your house. Here is what you have to do to follow the law if you are selling a haunted house in Massachusetts.

Disclosing the Presence of Ghosts

A haunted house in Massachusetts is considered to be "psychologically impacted". Psychologically impacted means that something occurred, or is occurring, in the house that could cause a new owner considerable stress even though the issue has nothing to do with the physical structure of the house. An issue that would cause the new owner to be psychologically impacted would be things like murders, suicides, and ghosts.

A situation that may cause a new owner to be psychologically impacted does not have to be voluntarily disclosed in Massachusetts and you don't have to say anything unless you are specifically asked by the potential buyer if the house has any ghosts in it.

When a Buyer Asks About Ghosts

If a buyer turns to you and asks if a ghost is haunting your home, you have to tell them the truth to the best of your knowledge. Failing to disclose the information to the buyer will open you up to legal ramifications since it could affect the livability of the house for a new owner.

Legal Ramifications

Not answering honestly about ghosts will put you in violation of the real estate laws in Massachusetts regarding false disclosure statements made to a buyer who then relies on those statements to buy your house. If they later find out you lied about the reported presence of ghosts in the house either now or in the past, they can sue you for negligent misrepresentation to recover the money they spent to buy the house and for any psychological damage they suffered because they moved into a haunted house.

You can sell a haunted house in Massachusetts and not tell the buyer anything about it and be free from any legal actions on the part of the buyer when they wake up and see things moving around in the night, but if they ask you, you have to tell them. Contact your team of realtors for more information.