haunted houses

Haunted House Horrors: Tales of the Unexpected

With the multitude of true-crime podcasts and Netflix specials available at this spooky time of year, you’ll have heard the stories. About the house that was haunted, the family that was driven out by poltergeists or ghosts, and how they couldn’t sell it on.

The truth is that most houses with a spooky past are not necessarily haunted – but when it comes to purchasing or selling a property, there are a few key things that you need to take into account in order to ensure a smooth transaction. One of the less obvious – but potentially more important – considerations is whether or not the house is haunted. 

How can you tell if a property is haunted?

Buyers: What to look for

You can’t always tell just by looking around a property whether it’s haunted or not – but there are some signs that can give you an idea of what to expect.  While some people might write these off as superstition, when you’re house hunting, it’s important to be aware of any potential red flags that could indicate a property is haunted. Some common signs include 

1. Unexplained noises: If you’re hearing strange noises coming from the property, this could be a sign that something unnatural is going on. Footsteps in empty rooms, doors slamming shut on their own, and strange voices are all red flags.

2. Cold spots: If you notice any areas of the house that are consistently colder than the rest, this could indicate the presence of paranormal activity, so if you notice one it’s worth investigating and checking if your radiators need bleeding too.

3. Strange smells: Unusual smells can also be an indication that something supernatural is happening in a property. If you notice any strange odors, it’s worth doing some additional research to see if there have been any reports of hauntings – note it for your surveyor also.

4. Moving objects: If objects in the house seem to move on their own, this is another potential sign of a haunting. This could include things like pictures falling off walls, items moving without explanation, or even going missing.

5. Strange shadows & flickering lights: Lights turning on and off by themselves, or flickering is a potential indicator of ghostly friends, but also worth considering having the electrics reviewed in case they need replacing.  If you see apparitions or strange shadows, it’s time to decide if a haunted house is for you.

If you notice any of these unexplainable goings on whilst viewing a home, it’s essential to do your research before proceeding. If you don’t experience any of these whilst house hunting but you still have concerns, just ask the seller if they can share any history about the property you are looking to buy.

Sellers: Do I have to disclose if my house is haunted?

For those who are looking to sell a property, the question is whether you choose to disclose your property’s haunted status.  In the UK it is not a requirement to share any specific information about the house or its history, but if the buyer asks questions, you should be transparent about what you know.  Many buyers can be put off by older properties, or those near graveyards for instance, but this is down to the individual and there should be no need for you to be concerned about any spookiness affecting your sale.

Top tips for a smooth house sale or a purchase transaction

There are many things that buyers and sellers can consider in order to ensure that the house transaction avoids any bumps along the way, and goes as smoothly as possible.

Buyers: Call upon a (Supernatural) Surveyor

Found the perfect home, and not put off by any spooky goings on? If you want to make sure you don’t end up with any unexpected skeletons in the (inbuilt) wardrobes, you should consider whether it would be beneficial to invest in a more in-depth option when it comes to a pre-sale survey and report.

Rics Home Survey – Level 1 

The most basic of the reports, this option uses a traffic light system that can highlight any urgent defects which need addressing, along with risks or potential legal issues.  This report does not go into the detail of a property valuation.  This option is best for a modern property which is in good condition where you are just looking for confirmation that all is as it appears.

Rics Home Survey – Level 2/RPSA Home Condition Survey

The most popular choice with buyers, this level of survey will review anything which may affect the property’s value, including advice on any repairs that are recommended.  The surveyor will also look for obvious issues such as damp or subsidence problems.  It’s worth noting that this survey will only be down to what can be seen as it is to be non-intrusive so anything hidden by large pieces of furniture or lurking within walls and floors will not be identified. 

Rics Home Survey – Level 3/RPSA Building Survey

If you are considering the purchase of an older property it is recommended that you invest in the most thorough of the options available.  A full survey undertaken by a Rics or RPSA registered surveyor can help identify any ghoulish issues which may not be obvious to the unsuspecting buyer, and carrying out a survey may help you to avoid any pitfalls, or give you the ability to negotiate on price should it become apparent that extensive work is required. 

Sellers: Plan ahead & prepare

For those selling a potentially haunted property, there are some scarily simple things you can do to ensure the sale goes smoothly once you find the perfect buyer.

Declutter & dust the webs away

Get ahead on your packing and take the opportunity to declutter your home before showing it to the market.  Even better, this could take place before your agency takes its professional photographs in order to show your home in its best possible light.  Although buyers expect a home to be loved and lived in, they need to be able to visualise themselves there too, so consider packing away any extra items which are unique to you and your family. 

Don’t ignore any creaking or cracks

When a property is being shown to prospective buyers, the first appearance is crucial, someone will decide within the first few minutes if they do not like the property or if it is clear that it is well cared for.  Repairing that cupboard door or repainting the front fence may be the deciding factor as to whether someone decides to make an offer.

Wish upon a star (agent)

If you choose to work with an estate agent, make sure you research and select the best suited for your sale.  Ask the tough questions, how will they market your home? Do they have lots of competing listings? How often will they be communicating with you? Have they sold similar properties in the area in recent months? Make sure you pick an agency that can help you with a smooth sale at the best possible price.

We’ve reached the witching hour

The choice to purchase a haunted home is down to the individual, don’t be put off by a spooky location but do go into any purchase with your eyes open, question anything unusual, and rely on the experts to help you uncover any ghoulish goings on.  As a seller, be open and honest with your prospective buyers and ensure you prepare your home accordingly for a sale. 

At Rollasons, our highly regarded conveyancing team is extremely experienced at ironing out any unexpected bumps in the road to help your conveyancing process flow as smoothly and efficiently as possible for you whether you are a buyer or seller. If you have any further questions or require assistance, we’re happy to help – even if it’s haunted!

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