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Must New Jersey home sellers disclose their houses are haunted?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2022 | Real Estate Law |

Do you have a house to sell that comes with its own invisible tenant? New Jersey homes for sale that are alleged to have paranormal activities present special circumstances for the home sellers. In fact, they may need to disclose this to potential buyers.

But, as with most things related to the law, there are exceptions. 

Don’t ask, don’t tell

Here in the Garden State, if the buyer asks about any alleged hauntings or paranormal activity in the residence, the sellers must come clean and admit what they know or have allegedly experienced. Failing to reveal this information could come back to haunt the sellers from a legal perspective.

But wait, there’s more

If prospective buyers ask whether anyone has died in the home, that, too, must be revealed. In the case of older homes that have been bought and sold multiple times, the sellers may not be aware of deaths that occurred in the home. Of course, one cannot reveal facts of which they remain unaware.

It’s highly likely that most older homes have had residents expire while living there. This is particularly true with homes that were built in past centuries when medical care was far more rudimentary. Then, the elderly tended to live out their lives in their own homes and didn’t die in nursing homes or assisted living facilities like many do today.

When prospective buyers make those inquiries, they may be referring to violent homicides or cases of suicide. Some people just prefer to move into homes unassociated with any stigmas or “bad vibes.” But as long as they don’t specifically ask those questions, sellers are not compelled to provide any of the sordid details that might be linked to their properties.

Learning more about your legal responsibilities when selling a home in New Jersey is always prudent to avoid any problems that could crop up in the future.

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