Halloween is here and my home has two goblins terrorizing Nala, the family dog. I can’t blame the previous owners for this problem, because these two goblins I brought with me when I bought my home in Vienna, years ago…….they are my daughters. As a real estate broker in Northern VA, this brings up some question. What about those home owners who sell a house knowing that a murder of an entire family took place 45 years ago, or those Confederate Civil War ghosts that haunt homes in Old Town Manassas still hoping to win the war? Whose responsibility is it to disclose such stigmas to buyers in Northern VA, the home owner or REALTOR? Does it even need to be disclosed?
First let’s not forget Caveat Emptor, or Buyer Beware in Northern VA which should remind all buyers to get an experienced agent. A real estate agent or broker can make sure buyers are getting the correct disclosures and be a guide through the entire home buying and selling process. As a buyer it is customary for the sellers to pay all the commission, so get the help and check out Who Pays the Commission for further information.
Now on with the freak show………
Be afraid…be very afraid…
Well, that’s if you believe in ghosts, demons, or any other type of lingering spirit in a home. Those Buying or selling a home anywhere in Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not require any disclosure of such stigmasalong with most other states. While you are trembling lets include to this list suicide, death by natural causes and violent crimes to include murder, even if it was of an entire family. There are more plausible reasons to not require disclosure then there are to require these types of stigmatic disclosures in Northern Va. The first and most important fact is that states and local governments do not recognize the existence of ghosts, haunting, or spiritual beliefs. How can the State of Virginia require anyone to disclose something that does not exist from their viewpoint…or does it? Another aspect is the separation of state and religion, the state does not recognize any religion or the belief of a soul and what happens to that soul upon death. Therefore Virginia does not require the disclosure of the act of death or murder since it does not effect the property. The only disclosure Virginia may require on a piece of real estate is if the death or murder leaves bodily fluid or a skeleton….oh yes I said bodily fluid, are you scared now? This is required since it then becomes a bio hazard, health hazard or possible grave site designation. This must be cleaned once the local authorities discover such health hazard, and once cleaned it is then no longer a hazard.
Many people feel fear and run from ghosts, while some like Annie Wilder see green and an opportunity with haunted homes. Since purchasing her house she has written multiple books and turned her haunted house into a money making machine. I am sure this time of year she keeps busy, see clip below.
Speaking of haunting, the home in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC from The Exorcist sold in 2003 for a whopping $2,025,000. (Pictured Below) How scary would it be to watch the 1973 film The Exorcist in this home on Halloween?
The question to ask is would that stop buyers from making an offer or actually demand a higher sales price? The view of the Potomac River and Francis Scott Key Bridge this home affords is worth a cool million or two alone, let’s not forget location, location, location. Those home buyers who have at least 3 million and change and would consider this one if it came on the market would not need to worry since this home was only used for the film. The actually location of the exorcism has been debated for years and purported to have taken place in Cottage City Maryland but has been a closely guarded secret by those actually involved.
The home buying process can be scary for many reasons, make sure you are getting the right information. With so many aspects to purchasing a home it is a necessity to hire the best real estate broker who is looking out for you and your needs. Don’t forget to do some research on your own, make sure you are not buying a house previously owned by Elton M. Jackson Virgina’s own serial killer.
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