Selling a ‘haunted’ house in Michigan

Brady Oestrike's home on Taft Avenue SW for sale. (July 13, 2015)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — So you think your house is haunted and you want out.

In the state of Michigan, you are not required by law to tell buyers about your supernatural suspicions — that is, unless they ask.

“It’s a real gray area here in Michigan about whether you have to disclose this to suspecting buyers or not,” Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Professor Chris Trudeau said. “Really, it boils down to if you think a house might be haunted or there might be some sort of violent crime that happened in the past, if you ask, somebody has to tell you the truth. You can’t lie about that. But it’s up in the air right now whether somebody has to disclose this without being asked.”

A history of violence actually does affect the sale of a home. Trudeau said a study from Wright State University found that such “stigmatized” homes stay on the market about 45 percent longer than homes without that stigma.

“A lot of people tend to think, if there’s something bad that happened in this house, maybe this won’t be comfortable for me to live here, too,” Trudeau said.

More than 20 states do have laws that regulate disclosing whether a house that’s for sale may be haunted or has a history of violence.

You can check out a house’s history through the website, which — for a price — will comb through records to tell you whether anyone has died there.