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Do you have to tell a buyer your house is haunted in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

When you’re selling your home, you know that you have certain mandatory disclosures you need to make to potential buyers. Buyers need to know, for example, if the roof leaks or you know that you have a crack in the foundation.

But what if your home comes with a few intangible “extras,” like a suspected ghost or two? Do you have to give a potential buyer a warning?  Maybe. Here’s what you need to know:

Disclosures about deaths and paranormal activity may be required

New Jersey is somewhat unique in that it is one of only nine states that require sellers to disclose any deaths that occurred on the property.

It’s also one of only four states that specifically require owners to disclose anything that might be considered paranormal activity, although – again – that disclosure is only required when the buyer specifically asks.

What does that mean for you? Well, you only have to inform the buyer of what you know. For example, if you know that the prior owner was murdered on the property and you firmly believe that their spirit is still connected to the home, you would have to disclose that information.

If you don’t know anything about any deaths or ghosts attached to the property, you aren’t required to dig through historical records.

Residential real estate prices have been soaring, and many long-time home buyers are looking to sell. If you’re among them, make sure that you take the necessary steps to protect your legal interests throughout the home sale process so that nothing comes back to haunt you later.