When purchasing a home, buyers often assume sellers will disclose certain facts about the property. However, that assumption is not one to be counted on. Factors that may categorize a home as a stigmatized property may not necessarily be disclosed. Is the house haunted? Was there a death on the property? These are things buyers may want to know, but they may have to be proactive to investigate further on their own to find out the answers.
Depending on the state, laws may or may not require homeowners to disclose whether there were deaths or have experienced some paranormal activity. In Texas, it can become a gray area.
“Texas Property Code Sec. 5.008. SELLER'S DISCLOSURE OF PROPERTY CONDITION. (c) A seller or seller's agent shall have no duty to make a disclosure or release information related to whether a death by natural causes, suicide, or accident unrelated to the condition of the property occurred on the property or whether a previous occupant had, may have had, has, or may have AIDS, HIV related illnesses, or HIV infection.”
The Property Code also advises sellers to disclose any condition on the property which materially affects the physical health or safety of an individual.
Nowhere does it ask specifically for a seller to divulge paranormal activity and, as seen in the property code, some deaths are also not required to disclose. So how do you protect & arm yourself with the knowledge?
Good Old Fashioned Research
Check the address in a web search. Look for news articles. Research the land the home was built on. You can also pay a fee to see property history records on diedinhouse.com
Talk To The Neighbors
Rader Homes Team always recommends speaking with neighbors whenever possible before buying a house. Both Brynn & Eric Rader often will accompany you or go speak with them on your behalf. Neighbors can give you much insight on the neighborhood & property. Usually they are happy to chat about the good, the bad, & the ugly
Check Out the Sales & Repair History
Rader Homes Team is happy to show you the home’s sales history on the MLS & also see if there is any information about the amount of repairs the home has needed. An unusual amount of repairs needed or the home frequently changing hands is not necessarily indicating paranormal activity but is at least a statistic worthy of investigation
Call In Your Preferred Professionals
Some people want to call in a professional paranormal investigator or get help to clear the home.
Homeowners preparing to sell their homes in The Woodlands (& throughout Texas) should remember that even if a matter is not required to be disclosed that does not mean you shouldn’t disclose it. In fact, Rader Homes Team advises our seller clients to be very up front and disclose as much as possible. No one relishes the idea of a legal battle, which is exactly what you may be up against if you do not share details about your property that the buyer feels are pertinent & essential matters of consideration. Our motto for Houston area sellers is “Disclose, Disclose, Disclose!”