Are you unafraid of strange noises in the night? Don’t mind being spied on? Feel content about occasional cool breezes or lightbulbs turning off and on a few times? If you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, maybe consider selling a haunted house in Washington, D.C. There are certainly plenty to choose from.
With prior experience selling a spook-ridden co-op, City Chic Real Estate Associate Broker and realtor D'Ann Faught offered Curbed DC readers a few tips on how to sell a boo-tiful home in the nation’s capital
Faught first got into the real estate business in 2001 and sold her first ghost-ridden residential unit around 2008 at The Chastleton, a co-op building near Logan Circle that was constructed in 1920. At the time, she was unaware that there were rumors of the building being haunted by the ghost of WWII General Douglas MacArthur.
Faught, herself, says that she believes in ghosts “to an extent,” but never experienced anything supernatural or spooky while touring the property. Even so, she added, “The building, itself, definitely has some kind of an aura about it.”
After a skeptical homebuyer purchased the co-op at The Chastleton, it was later confirmed to Faught that they had instances where a window and several cabinet doors would open on their own in the supposedly haunted unit.
Faught also had an instance in the past where a buyer avoided touring a condo in a converted hospital because they were afraid a ghost may still walk the halls at night.
“They just felt like that was really creepy,” she said.
Despite this, Faught estimates that at least a third of people would be indifferent to having a spectre as a roommate, an estimation backed up by a recent survey conducted by Realtor.com.
In Washington, D.C., it is possible for a homebuyer to close on a property, unaware of if it has supernatural tenants. While real estate agents are legally required to disclose if a home has latent defects, such as electrical issues or a leaky roof, real estate agents in certain states do not have to tell a buyer if a house is haunted.
“I would gather that there are probably homes that are on the market that are haunted that people don’t know,” said Faught. “Usually, the only time someone would know is if they personally experienced something while touring or if it were a situation where a particular building [is known to be haunted].”
Regardless as to whether or not a buyer is aware of any spooky dealings, real estate agents should still take special precautions when showing it.
On how to de-ghost the house, Faught recommended hiring someone to do an exorcism. Burning sage is also suspected to ward off bad spirits. While the ghost continues to roam the residential space, consider avoiding tours at night.
“It couldn’t hurt to do those things,” she said.
When it comes to what advice Faught has for buyers, she said, “I would definitely look into it with an open mind. If you find a home that you love, but you’re afraid that it might be haunted, don’t let that be a factor that keeps you from buying a house.”
• D.C.'s haunted (and otherwise scary as hell) locations [Curbed DC]
• Haunted House? Not a Deal Breaker for Many Homebuyers [Realtor.com]