It’s that time of year when you think things happen overnight.
What if you think that a real ghost has taken up residence in your house and you want to move out? Do you need to let potential buyers know about your unwanted guest?
Michigan law is unclear when it comes to a seller’s obligation to disclose non-physical or so-called psychological property defects, according to Gregg Nathanson, a Michigan real estate attorney. Haunted houses would fall into this category of ownership.
Nathanson said state law states that real estate brokers do not have a duty to disclose psychological flaws in the property. But the law doesn’t say whether sellers have an obligation to disclose.
“The way you normally disclose it is by filling out what’s called a seller’s disclosure statement which is required by Michigan law,” Nathanson said. “And then it would be up to you to fill it out to the best of your ability. So it would be a question of whether you think it is haunted or not. “
But since Michigan courts haven’t ruled on a seller’s obligation to disclose psychological flaws, Nathanson said it’s not clear if you should reveal this pesky ghost.
If you are a buyer who is particularly concerned about ghosts, your best bet is to ask directly if the house is haunted. Nathanson said that when faced with a direct question, sellers and brokers must answer honestly or decline to answer.
Virginie Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom