‘Sometimes a resident ghost is a selling point. Especially when it's associated with a stunning period property with attached history. A ghost is almost an expected part of such a package,’ said Jo Aldridge of Stacks Property Search in the UK.
‘Some properties are unashamedly haunted, and a purchaser will almost certainly hear stories and rumours from the estate agent, from locals, or from the vendors themselves. But if a buyer is coming from out of the area, buying remotely and without spending time locally, it's possible that legend and hearsay will pass them by,’ she added.
This raises the question of whether or not an estate agent should declare if a house has a ghost. In the UK sellers are required by the National Association of Estate Agents to declare anything that has occurred at the property that would affect the transactional decision of the average buyer and this usually relates to suicides and murders.
But it is a grey area as to whether ghosts fall into this obligation. Indeed, some might feel that if they did disclose a ghost, they might be laughed at.
Stacks Property Search once had an American client who was actively seeking a haunted property. They bought something that was reputed to be haunted. ‘We were a little concerned that we were expected to guarantee a ghost, and that was slightly outside our remit. We did check the fine print of our contract. We have also come across a purchaser who always consults a medium when looking for and selecting property,’ explained the firm’s James Greenwood.
‘On a serious note, it's not uncommon for there to be disagreement between family members when buying property. Sometimes we will try and resolve these differences. But when somebody has a bad feeling, or a strong adverse reaction of any sort to a house, our advice would be to reject the property. Whether that bad feeling comes from a sense of previous lives lived, or a full blown haunting, and whatever your beliefs are, there's little point in talking someone out of a feeling that they can't explain,’ he added.
However, at this time of year a bigger concern for property owners might be the cost of repairs arising from Halloween and also bonfire night. It is estimated that almost a quarter of UK homes have suffered damage as a result of these two festivities and the repair bill is put at £1.38 billion.
The research from Santander Home Insurance reveals that the most common cause of damage at 10% is eggs being thrown at a property followed by 6% suffering garden plants and fences being damaged. Property damage due to fireworks and sparklers comes in at 3%, as does hosting a house party, while items posted through letter boxes amounts...