Does a seller in New York have to disclose paranormal activity?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2022 | Real Estate Transactions

Selling real estate can be a complex and stressful process. Sellers need to make repairs, prepare to stage their home to make it look inviting and create a list of defects so that they can disclose everything to the buyers. If you fail to tell the truth, you could face litigation and financial consequences. 

You probably already know that you need to tell potential buyers about that recent termite infestation you had at the home or foundation issues that will need correction in the upcoming decades. There may be other issues with the property that you have to disclose to potential buyers. 

But what about hauntings? Do you need to disclose your suspicions of ghosts or other paranormal activity at your New York property? 

New York does have a paranormal activity disclosure rule

The vast majority of states do not have rules about ghosts or other assumed supernatural activity when it comes to real estate disclosures. However, New York is one of only four states that address this particular concern. 

If a seller has publicly made claims about their property having supernatural activity or ghosts, they should inform the buyer of those claims. For example, if you had your home included in a haunted house walking tour or applied to have a paranormal television show film at your home, the buyer could take you to court over your failure to disclose those issues later. 

However, simply having a suspicion that something happened there or knowledge that someone died in the home before doesn’t force you to disclose any suspected spooky activity. Understanding the rules that govern New York real estate transactions can help you comply with the law.