Spooky décor puts home buyers off and could knock 20% off the property value

As Halloween approaches, estate agents have revealed that a home with a spooky history can lose up to 20% of its value and can be twice as difficult to sell.
The omission comes from a number of independent estate agents who told Move with Us that being built on top of a graveyard, a former crime scene or rumoured to be haunted are the most common reasons for spooking potential home buyers.
“With this sort of property, buyers often put in a lower offer or will use the history as a bargaining tool,” says Robin King, Director of Move with Us.
He says that for anyone looking to sell a property with a chequered past, presentation and ‘curb appeal’ are the best ways to get viewers through the door.
As part of the research, the firm also found that moving home on Friday the 13th and purchasing a number ‘13’ property were the predominant reasons spooking superstitious movers.
Other concerns included not wanting to live next to a graveyard, black cats being seen during viewings and the idea of the property having ghosts or being haunted.
The surveyed estate agents also said that unusual decorating choices of sellers could be particularly off-putting with the following noted as being particularly undesirable:
• A coffin or dead person’s ashes in the house
• Taxidermy – stuffed animals
• A skeleton hung outside a bedroom window
• Animal skulls in the garden
• Shrunken heads or creepy china dolls
• Rows of bottled specimens on shelves in a cellar
• A vintage barber’s shop chair in the bedroom
• Animals such as snakes and tarantulas
King says that buyers are more likely to be put off by so-called spooky properties in the winter months although viewers should remain open minded and not be put off by minor details.
“If they find the right property, they should remember that by the time they get their belongings in and change the decor to suit their individual taste it will quickly feel like home,” he says.
His message for sellers is that it is easier to sell a property when it is de-personalised and neutral and to avoid extreme or creepy decorating choices.
“At this time of year, switching the fire on and making sure that the property is welcoming can show it at its best and help you to achieve the best price. Creating a blank canvas will help viewers to imagine themselves living in the house and make the sale easier,” he concludes.

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