There’s a reasonable chance that State Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick was either joking or asking on behalf of a constituent when she wrote on Facebook to inquire if a home seller is required to disclose the presence of a ghost or the prior commission of a murder at the home in question, but it raises an interesting question.
No, not “Who you gonna call?”
The issue is addressed partially in Georgia Code §44-1-16, which deals with “stigmatized properties.”
(a)(1) No cause of action shall arise against an owner of real property, a real estate broker, or any affiliated licensee of the broker for the failure to disclose in any real estate transaction the fact or suspicion that such property:
(B) Was the site of a homicide or other felony or a suicide or a death by accidental or natural causes; provided, however, an owner, real estate broker, or affiliated licensee of the broker shall, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, answer truthfully to the best of that person´s individual knowledge any question concerning the provisions of subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph.
A professor at Wright State University studied 102 stigamatized homes in Ohio, which included the sites of 46 suicides, 27 murders and 6 hauntings, and concluded that while such homes averaged an additional 45 days on the market, the price difference of such homes averaged 3%.
But we don’t have an answer for whether the seller has a duty to disclose if their home is haunted. May someone will write some legislation to take care of that. If nothing else, it would be a perfect opportunity for the house to haze a new State Rep. when they present their first bill.
Earlier this year, the house made famous in “The Amityville Horror” was offered for $1.35 million. That home actually was the site of a mass-murder when all six members of a family that lived there were found executed. The next owners vacated after 28 days, claiming the home was haunted. When that house was on the market in 2010, it was sold for $950,000 after 70 days on the market with an initial asking price of $1.15 million. No word on why it was up for sale again a year later.