The National Association of REALTORS® defines stigmatized property as: "a property that has been psychologically impacted by an event which occurred, or was suspected to have occurred, on the property, such event being one that has no physical impact of any kind."
Many circumstances can stigmatize a property—location, murder or suicide in the house, alleged hauntings, or a notorious previous owner. Learn the basics of identifying stigmatized homes, how stigma affects property values and what you need to disclose to potential buyers.
NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.
Stigmatized Property Basics
Got Ghosts? Tips for Buying & Selling Haunted Real Estate (The Cooperator, Oct. 28, 2020)
How to Sell a Haunted House (Go Platinum Realty, Oct. 25, 2020)
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Property Near a Cemetery (Adam Merrick, Oct. 20, 2020)
A Place to Die For: Why People Buy Homes Where Brutal Murders Occurred (realtor.com®, Oct. 20, 2020)
You Can Now Hire a 'Home Exorcist' to Help Cleanse and Sell Your Haunted Home (KUTV, Aug. 24, 2020)
Don't Be Scared! Home at Center of Haunted House Legal Case Available for $1.9M (realtor.com®, Jun. 3, 2020)
Stigma and Property Value
Is It Creepy to Live in a Place Where Coffins Are Sold? (realtor.com®, Oct. 9, 2020)
How a Death in a Home Affects Its Value (Real Estate Agent, Jul. 22, 2020)
Volunteers Renovate Home Where Colorado Woman Was Killed (U.S. News & World Report, Apr. 22, 2020)
I Live Next to a Cemetery. Will My House Sell for Less? (HomeLight, Feb. 20, 2020)
What Happens to a Murder House? (A&E, Apr. 7, 2020)
Homicides Hammer Baltimore, Other Urban Real Estate Markets (The Daily Record, Nov. 19, 2019) E
After Tragedies Shatter Communities, Their Effects Ripple Through Real Estate (realtor.com®, Oct. 7, 2019)
Jeffrey Epstein’s $56 Million Mansion Could Become a Real-Estate Nightmare (MarketWatch, Jul. 28, 2019)
Meet the Real Estate Appraiser of the World’s Most Gruesome Murder Sites (Rolling Stone, Mar. 7, 2019)
Vacant and Abandoned Properties
Vacant Zombie Properties Diminish Across U.S. as Foreclosure Moratorium Remains in Effect in Fourth Quarter of 2020 (ATTOM Data Solutions, Oct. 29, 2020)
Vacant Housing: a Non-Gentrifying Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy for East Chattanooga (The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, May 2020)
Vacancy Taxes: The Next Frontier in Housing Policy? (WBUR, Jan. 27, 2020)
Abandoned Houses for Sale: Where to Find Them and How to Buy Them (realtor.com®, Oct. 21, 2019)
The Value of Reducing Vacancy (On Common Ground, Mar. 15, 2019)
Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities into Assets (U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Winter 2014)
Why Do Vacant Houses Sell for Less: Holding Costs, Bargaining Power or Stigma? (Real Estate Economics, Mar. 1, 2011) E
Books, eBooks & Other Resources
Home Buyers' Checklist (Kindle, eBook)
Homeowners' Legal Bible (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.Death and Disclosure: Legal Strategies for Dealing with Stigmatized Properties (October Research Corporation, 2007) HD 1341 R22d
An Examination of Stigmatized Housing in Ohio (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 2000) HD 1341 L32
Information from NAR
State Issues Tracker—Click on State & Local Resources, then click on State Issues Tracker under the Resources heading. Sign in with your nar.realtor user name and password. Click on Seller’s Required Disclosures to find out which states require disclosures of psychologically impacted properties.
Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.
The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.