How would you sell a 'murder house'?

A discussion of distressed property in the information age
  • It’s probably best to err on the side of caution and disclose deaths on a property.
  • There's often stories already out there about homes where suicide or murder have happened and sometimes those stories are the source of unnecessary -- and untrue -- hype.
  • If you’re really concerned, you can always hire a priest or a psychic to clear the property.

Murders, suicides, hauntings — all provoke prurient interest in the property that can often morph into a three-ring media circus. If you became the listing agent, would you downplay the media attention to avoid the property becoming more stigmatized, or would you capitalize on the free publicity? More importantly, what disclosures would you advise your clients to make?