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Published March 29, 2016 Realtor.com
The house that comes with its very own stalker — or is it a prankster? — is back on the market after a nearly nine-month hiatus. Currently listed for $1.25 million, “The Watcher” house made headlines last summer after the family who bought the Westfield, NJ, home for $1.4 million in 2014 claimed they had received disturbing letters from an anonymous “admirer.”
“My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time,” one letter read. “Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?”
The new owners, saying the previous owners didn’t disclose any nefarious stalkers before closing, put their house up for sale last year and sued the seller.
The home’s previous owners claim the letters are a fraud and that they had never heard of The Watcher nor received any threatening letters. The worldwide coverage may have scared off the mysterious figure, who hasn’t been heard from since.
Broker associate Cara Ameer from Florida told us the home could be a bargain for a buyer who’s not freaked out by the home’s backstory.
“It’s a unique and challenging situation,” Ameer says. “The price reflects a good below-equity market opportunity. For a buyer with thick skin who can see the positives in the situation, they’ll need to refuse to let The Watcher paralyze themselves and their family.”
The sellers should take an upfront but lighthearted approach to selling the stigmatized property, according to Daniel Bortz with Keller Williams Realty in Arlington, VA. He suggested hiring a medium or including a picture of Casper in the marketing materials.
He also reminded us that there’s a built-in market for this sort of home, as seen on reality TV.
“Some buyers actually dig spooky properties. TV shows like ‘Ghost Hunters’ have popularized the idea of living in a haunted house,” says Bortz.
If a brave buyer decides to wade into this murky situation, the Colonial offers plenty of upsides. Built in 1905, the six-bedroom house has oodles of curb appeal and beautiful hardwood flooring throughout the downstairs living area. One final item: A buyer will also likely face a lengthy letter of disclosure we wouldn’t recommend reading before bedtime. -Stacy