Selling a haunted house? Millennials are more willing to purchase, survey finds

In today's cutthroat (and pricey) real estate market, it's going to take more than a few ghosts to scare off some home buyers.

Things that go bump in the night be damned.

Overall, according to a recent Realtor.com® survey, one in three buyers would be willing to purchase a haunted home if they could get a little something extra to sweeten the deal. And of all age groups, millennials were the most likely to do so if they could leverage those pesky spirits hanging around to get a lower price on the home in question.

More than 1,000 people participated in the Realtor.com survey.

“In a competitive market, it’s harder for prospective buyers to be extremely selective,” Danielle Hale, Realtor.com's chief economist, said in a statement. "For those looking for a good deal, a lower price, better neighborhood, or larger kitchen can balance out a few spooky happenings."

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Although 17 percent of millennials polled were willing to overlook a few hair-raising experiences or spirit sightings to get a good deal, other generations were not completely opposed to the idea. About 15 percent of Generation Xers surveyed, and 13 percent of baby boomers, said they'd purchase a haunted house for a cheaper price tag. Hey, maybe it's a friendly ghost?

Meanwhile, about 10 percent of Gen Xers would brave a poltergeist to get into a better neighborhood or have larger bedrooms. About 13 percent of millennials would close on a haunted home to get into a better neighborhood, while 12 percent would do so to score a larger backyard or outdoor space. Baby boomers were the least likely to purchase a haunted home.

"But look! The previous owners will include this creepy antique doll at no extra charge!"

"But look! The previous owners will include this creepy antique doll at no extra charge!" (iStock)

Unfortunately, most buyers probably wouldn't know their home-to-be was haunted. Only about 34 percent of sellers would disclose ghosts to interested buyers, while another 27 percent would only tell them if they were asked about it. On the other hand, sometimes homes are wrongly considered to be haunted.

Self-declared witch Amy Blackthorn cleanses about 10 to 15 homes a year that their owners suspect are haunted. But it's extremely rare that there really are malicious spirits lurking about, she says.

"It's less than 1 percent of the time that they're going to experience a true, real haunting," says Blackthorn, author of "Blackthorn's Botanical Magic." "There's no guarantee that even if something really bad happened there, there's going to be a haunting."

Just in case, buyers should do a little research to see if any murders happened in the home. If so, they can use that information to their advantage at the negotiating table — and then do a spirit cleanse before they move in.

“People don’t want to live in a murder house," Blackthorn says. "So you can actually get some decent deals on houses because something really awful happened there.”

This post originally appeared as "The One Reason Millennials Are More Likely to Buy Haunted Houses" on Realtor.com.