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Field Guide to Dealing With Stigmatized Properties

(Updated October 2013)

Do you dare disclose if there is murder or mayhem at your listing? What if the owner was a controversial person?  What are the professional and logistical challenges if there is a well-publicized ghost on your next property? Don't despair, help is here! This page offers some creative marketing tools and advice for selling properties with an unsavory past. (A. Siudzinski, Senior Library Information Specialist).

Video: Selling a Haunted House

Source: Selling a Haunted House, (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 29, 2012).

Haunted Real Estate Survey

41% of respondents would buy a place with reported ghost sightings
36% of respondents wouldn’t object to levitating objects
15% of respondents would pay full market value of the home
19% of respondents would take a 31-50% discount

Source: Haunted houses: Realtor.com’s haunted real estate survey says 32 percent of homebuyers would purchase a paranormal property, (Huffington Post, Oct. 22, 2012).

Stigmatized Property Basics

Selling a haunted house: do you have to tell buyers?, (Fox Business, Oct. 10, 2013).

Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home for sale in Ohio,  (CBS Chicago, Aug. 22, 2012).

3 BR, hot tub, 3 murders: how homicide homes hold their secrets, (NBC News, June 26, 2012).

Pa. homeowner sues seller over home’s bloody past,  (ABC News/Yahoo!, Jan. 28, 2012).

The selling of a crime scene home, (The Standard-Examiner, Jan. 16, 2012).

Stigma and Property Value

Does Satan worship lower a Las Vegas mansion’s value?,  (The Los Angeles Times,  Oct. 8, 2013).

Is the Dexter next door ruining your home’s value?  (GoBankingRates, Sept. 30, 2012).

Appraiser: wind farm won’t affect property values, (saukvalley.com, July 11, 2012).

Books, eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Home Buyers' Checklist (Adobe eReader)

Homeowners' Legal Bible (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Death and disclosure: legal strategies for dealing with stigmatized properties, (October Research Corporation, 2007). HD 1341 R22d

An examination of stigmatized housing in Ohio, (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 2000). HD 1341 L32

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Meth Labs

Field Guide to REALTOR® Safety

InfoCentral Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.