Can You Legally Sell a House in Texas Without Telling the Buyer its Haunted?
Texas is a hotbed for haunted activity. Even in East Texas, we have a few spots that can be considered haunted. The most famous to come to mind is the Jefferson Hotel in Jefferson, Texas. They even have a whole YouTube channel dedicated to the ghostly happenings at the hotel. But if you are selling your home, and you believe that a spirit is occupying that dwelling, do you have a legal obligation to tell the buyer it is haunted? Let's explore this question.
Buying a Home
I have never owned a home, so to be perfectly honest, I have no clue about the process of selling a home. I would assume that a perspective buyer will tour a home they are interested in to get a good measure on the condition of the home. That buyer may find a particular feature of the home they absolutely love and possibly a part of that home that could be a deal breaker. I would think that if the home is haunted, that would be an instant deal break.
The National Association of Realtors actually has a section of their website that deals with something like this called Stigmatized Properties. A property can be labeled as a Stigmatized Property because of a psychological impact like murder, suicide, hauntings or the previous owner did some, we'll call them "unusual things," in the home. Some buyers can overlook these things in the hopes they can negotiate a lower price for the home.
Do you have to disclose if a house is haunted in Texas?
While some states do have laws pertaining to the disclosure of unusual activities from a previous owner, is there a law on the books in Texas that says you have to tell a potential buyer that a home is haunted? In short, that answer is no.
In Texas, a seller and agent has no duty to make a disclosure or release information related to whether a death by natural causes, suicide, or accident unrelated to the condition of the property occurred on the property. - diedinhouse.com
According to diedinhouse.com, a website dedicated to letting people know if someone died in a house, there is no law that requires a home seller to disclose if a death, suicide or any accident occurred in the home. This would also include if the house is haunted.
Question Needs to be Asked
As a buyer, I would think this would need to be a question that is asked. You wouldn't want to start settling into a home only to start having your favorite dishes being tossed against the wall or hear the growl of an angry demon.