How Not To Sell Your House

by Mike Holman

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I wasn’t sure whether to call this post “Canada’s stupidest people” or the title you see above.  This post is in the same vein as another post I wrote a while ago about bad for-sale-by-owner signs.

I recently read an article about a family in Ontario that is trying to sell their “haunted house”.  To quickly summarize the article -

Family bought dream home, realized it was haunted, moved out and is paying mortgage plus rent, put house up for sale while holding press conferences to talk about exactly how haunted the house is.

Here are three thoughts I wanted to address – feel free to add any of your own!

Why advertise the fact that the house is haunted if you are trying to sell it?

According to the article, only the locals knew the house was haunted – so why do you want to scare away the rest of the potential buyers?  If I was trying to sell a haunted house – I would not say anything about ghosts, apparitions, witches, goblins, gremlins – even if they were all partying nightly at the house every night.

These people are nuts

I don’t believe in ghosts and while I have no idea what these people are up to – either they are crazy or trying to pull some sort of scam.  The odd thing is that it is not just 1 or 2 people involved – there is a couple and their 2 younger kids who all refuse to go into the house (according to the mother at least).

They left their possessions behind

“We left our things behind because we were scared that we would take whatever it is that’s here, with us”

This is kind of a part 2 to both of my first points – 1)  It drives home the point that this house is clearly not worth buying so why are they telling everyone?  2)  Not only are they nuts – they are really, really nuts!

I’m skeptical

I really have a hard time believing that everything in this story is exactly as presented.  I think some young journalist out there who is looking for an interesting story to break should go and talk to the family (hopefully not in tongues) and find out what is really going on.  Offer to spend a night in the house and see if you make it out alive – if nothing else, you should end up with a good article.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mr. Cheap

I’m off to spend a night in the haunted house!

I think its actually a sales ploy. They bought it for $164k and are trying to sell it for $185k (in a down market). I think they’re hoping a ghost nuts reads about it and buys their house for top dollar (that’s my theory anyway).

If you were truly terrified by the house and struggling to make payments, you’d sell it for what you could get (not try to recoup legal and realtor fees)

2 Emily in Ohio

Hold on, I need to pick my jaw up off the floor….

3 Sean

Like Mr. Cheap, I think it is a niche play. The only problem is, if it doesn’t work, you are 100% hosed.

4 guinness416

The house three doors down from me is haunted. The people who live there have embraced it, though. I must print out this story for them.

5 MoneyGrubbingLawyer

I like it! I would like to think that most adults don’t actually believe in haunted houses, so the buyers you will turn off should be limited to a small segment of the population. For the rest, this listing will get quite a bit more attention and that can only be a good thing!

6 Steve

I’m wondering if the ghosts are considered tenants? If so, maybe that’s the problem. Hard to evict them. How would you convincel a judge that the ghosts actually showed up in court if you are the only one to see them.
But there is a plus side, maybe they could pay rent or at least write the lottery numbers on the wall.

7 Patrick

Well, I wouldn’t “advertise” that a house I’m trying to sell had a problem, but ethically (and probably legally) you can’t really keep it a secret from the buyer either.

8 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

This is hilarious!

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