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Dilemma Revolving ‘Haunted’ or Stigmatized Properties

Brian is a real estate professional, How recognize and value the trust my clients in him, and He strive to exceed their expectations daily.

Haunted house

Haunted house

It is the dream of every person alive to acquire at least one property throughout their lifetime. Some people work their entire life just to be able to afford a place of their own. Having the means to buy a property is one thing; making the right choice purchasing one is entirely another ballgame. Make a wrong decision and you end up making a futile purchase, which would leave you better not owning a property in the first place.

The process of purchasing a property can sometimes be long and tedious. For some, it may turn out to be a disaster if there is no research or proper deliberation before signing the papers. This is where real estate agents come into the scenario by making a difference; offering their professional take on the purchase decision. Input from a qualified, honest, trustworthy, and transparent realtor can make a big difference in the outcome for a home buyer.

For expatriates and foreigners working and living overseas, especially in Asian countries, sometimes end up choosing to relocate completely as they have grown accustomed to life abroad, and the cost of living in Asia is much lower compared to the US or Europe. Some foreigners that are unfamiliar with the local real estate climate, depending on how long they have been residing locally, may rely on a real estate agent to help them on the groundwork.

It is usually uncomplicated dealing with expatriates in their search for a place they will call home in their newly found haven. For the most part, what these people look for is a simple place for shelter and easy access, while those that are relocating for retirement mostly do not mind staying in the suburbs or somewhere slightly out of town as they are attracted to the peace and quiet. Sometimes these unsuspecting buyers are coaxed to purchase without fully knowing the backstory of the property they invested in.

Asian customs and cultures

Asian customs and cultures

In Asia, most parts of its populations’ life are guided by certain customs and cultures that are unique in contrast to their American and European counterparts. Some Asian countries have deep-rooted superstitions that dictate most of the decisions in life made by their populations, which include the purchase of properties. In certain areas, there are countless properties left abandoned and unoccupied due to the superstitious beliefs of its locals. Owners of such properties that want to get rid of them may engage real estate agents to promote and sell them off.
The majority of such houses are usually located in rural or suburban areas; however, several haunted houses are said to be lying in the urban areas as well. Some real estate owners and agents take advantage of these unoccupied properties by selling them to foreigners or people who either do not believe in ghost stories or are completely unaware of them.

A detailed study has been done to identify the various ways agents or homeowners engage to sell off a haunted property; along with it the challenges and opportunities faced. The findings may in a way help realtors deal with and tackle such tricky situations whereby the property has a bad history linked to it. With these findings, aspiring realtors may improve their skills in brokering and bring in the dough.

In most cases of haunted houses, such properties have either had a tragic history of suicide, murder, or incident of heinous crimes taking place in the property. As such properties are left unattended over the years, they suffer significant damage from natural elements, which may make the house appear scary and spooky. Real estate managers or individual property investors usually take unfair advantage by purchasing such properties at a very low cost. Subsequently, these run-down properties are then upgraded through refurbishment works, to restore these properties to their original state, or almost. (, 2019).

Numerous approaches can be taken to sell off a haunted house. In most cases, ethically appropriate methods are used by the real estate managers to seal the deal whilst there is also a minority that practice unethical means to influence buyers to make the purchase. A systematic process is usually followed by estate managers to deal with these types of haunted houses. Real estate managers take the local notion into account while buying a property of such repute and investigate these properties to properly evaluate the condition and state of the house.

As these houses are left unattended for a long period, the condition of the property can be withered and, hence, contribute to weird sounds that may be generated from old hinges or creaky doors. (, 2019). This however does not provide sufficient information about the presence of evil phantoms. Instead, very specific activities can be noted in some of these cases, which can indicate paranormal activity. In those cases, investigation of such claimed activities is to be performed by paranormal experts and investigators to gather enough proof.

Many real estate managers try to keep this information secret which is a very effective way of selling these types of houses to foreigners or outsiders that may not be familiar with the history of the property being sold to them. Another catch that will appeal to buyers would be the price, in which some real estate managers set a comparatively lower price than usual (, 2017). This in a way helps the said real estate managers to guarantee the sales of such types of houses without disclosing their history or secrets of spooky activities.

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In many cases, the houses categorized as ‘haunted’ may not be truly haunted but instead stigmatized. For instance, in the past, if there has been a reporting of any type of heinous crime such as murder or suicide taking place in the property, a predominant psychological concept of haunted activities is created among the neighboring people. Thus, to certify if it is indeed real-life paranormal activity, investigators may be engaged to verify the situation.

If any type of unholy presence is detected within those properties by the investigators, the ghost hunters will then be engaged to remove it from the house. According to Stammers (2018), if the paranormal activities in the haunted houses are disclosed before selling the house, it may cause ethical problems in the business which will cause a large amount of penalty to recover.

As a result, information about stigmatized or haunted houses and paranormal activities needs to be disclosed very carefully. This requires effective communication among the real estate agents and attorneys so that internal relationships can be kept intact. Legal obligations on the selling processes of these houses are slightly different from the normal houses. Many real estate owners and managers try to skip from mentioning these haunted activities or stigmatized activities of these houses.

As the legal regulations do not mention any obligations about sharing such information, thus, these methods are also taken to sell haunted houses (, 2020). However, the property misdescription act regards these actions to be unfair trading, and thus, real estate managers may have to face a huge compensation fee for hiding this information. As a result, property managers describe the details of haunted houses skeptically, and they include any methods that were taken to minimize these problems as well.

Usually, the descriptions about any paranormal activities are not disclosed by the real estate managers directly as it can discourage buyers, but disclosure of stigmatic events such as suicides or murder or any type of criminal activity is disclosed (Weidmann, 2016). One of the best ways to sell a spooky house with ease is to make refurbishments and adjustments to the property by making it tidy and by giving it a new and modern look. When a house is not up kept properly, even a moderate stigmatic story can cause a psychological threat to the buyers. Due to this reason, full makeovers of the house are done to avoid stereotypical images.

In cases of individual efforts of selling a haunted property, the easiest way to get rid of the property would be to sell it to the quick house sale companies. These types of companies buy any type of property for cash and adjust refurbishment needs on their funds regardless of mortgages and investors. This can help to reduce the stress of the seller as well. Even if all means fail, lowering the price to such a level that the buyers would buy the house without any hesitation never fails in these cases, usually, the history of the house is avoided. Thus, many options can be taken to sell a haunted house, and it mainly depends on the culture and beliefs of the respective regions as well.

Stambovsky vs Ackley

Stambovsky vs Ackley

As the sellers of the housing property are aware of the regulations and duties for selling a stigmatic property, they use the law to protect themselves from regulatory harm. The most famous legal case regarding haunted house selling activities occurred in New York as the seller tried to sell the haunted property without making the buyer aware of the paranormal activities that took place in the house. In Stambovsky vs Ackley case, the owner of the house became desperate to sell the property after she faced several paranormal activities within the house (Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 AD 2d 254, 1991).

After a down payment was made, the buyer found out from the neighbors about the secret the seller hid from him. As a result, the buyer tried to rescind the deal which was refused by the seller. While the lower court dismissed the case by citing it as ‘buyer beware, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision by stating the non-disclosure of supernatural activity as an act of negligence.

This here is an example that both the seller as well as the buyer, must be aware of the disclosures about the property selling act as well as real estate laws to avoid any type of ethical conflict. In cases of property selling, if the property is stigmatized, disclosure of the facts must be made to the buyer. However, if this action is not a regulatory obligation, the sellers will not have to disclose such information for their advantage.

In such cases, buyers can gather such information from the neighborhood and the locals before making any down payment and signing the contract. Fast house sellers try to refurbish an establishment of such stigmatic activity to reduce the risk of information disclosure (, 2020). One of the best ways to sell a haunted property and earn benefits from it is to make the establishment a ghost tour location. This may attract many visitors as well as students of paranormal activity for their study, and the owner can obtain profit and benefit from it as well.

In conclusion, it can be established that selling a haunted or stigmatized house is not an easy task. The seller must be very careful about the exchange of information and cannot force the buyer even after the first down payment. Apart from that, disclosure of the information is a crucial factor as well. This is due to the reason that many countries may have obligatory rules and penalties for the negligence of duty for not disclosing such information. However, this only applies to the case where the buyer wants to know such information about stigmatic events about the house. An ethical dilemma for avoiding this information may not occur as it is not an obligatory rule of real estate.

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