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From Rats and Mould to Paranormal Activity – What Scares Buyers the Most?

It may be the season of ghosts, vampires and things that go bump in the night, however when it comes to the scariest things about property sales it would seem there are much more frightening things than ghosts.

A new survey of over 500 estate agents has unearthed that 86 per cent of UK estate agents don’t have the slightest problem with having a haunted property on their books, with a fifth (20%) even stating they would add a price premium for the novelty of buying a property known to have paranormal activity.

Only 11 per cent stated they would reduce the asking price if a home was haunted, while 69 said they would stick with the current market value.

The nation’s estate agents weren’t very superstitious ether, with 93 per cent also having no concerns about listing a property with the number 13.

In fact, when asked about the scariest things they’d seen when visiting a property, it was damp and mould that ranked first (18%) as the scariest thing they’d seen.

While 3 per cent claimed they had seen signs of paranormal activity when visiting a property, 14 per cent admitted that seeing rats, mice or an insect infestation was their second most feared property sale horror, followed by subsidence (13%) and dangerous foundations (13%).

Perhaps understandably, Asbestos also ranked high as a scary property feature (11%), along with Japanese Knotweed (10%) and dated interior decor such as 70s wallpaper.

Some agents revealing the real-life horrors encountered when visiting properties across the nation even admitted to being spooked by the current owners (8%), while the vendors leaving their underwear on show scooped 7 per cent of the vote.

Mikus Opelts, CEO of Giraffe360, which conducted the research commented: “The nation’s estate agents have seen some scary things over the years and having survived the property market crash in 2008, it will take more than a few ghosts to put them off from selling a property.

In fact, it seems that there are far scarier things to worry about in today’s property market and these are the things that can remove real value from a home and even make it impossible to sell.

Damp and mould, rats or mice, asbestos, subsidence and Japanese Knotweed are the real horror stories for those looking to sell and it’s likely that many home sellers would prefer a little paranormal activity every day of the week.”

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Alex Wright, Editor