Horror for sale: five things that make your house look horrifying |
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Horror for sale: five things that make your house look horrifying

by Jillian CariolaPublished: October 28, 2014Updated: November 3, 2014

Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean the house you’re selling has to dress up too. Keep your property from looking like the Amityville home with these maintenance tips.

Halloween is the perfect time for you to decorate your home and invite trick-or-treaters over for candy. But if it already looks like a house of terror without even trying, you're doing something wrong, especially if you're trying to sell it. Check for these signs of gore and see how you can fix them.

Cobwebs and dust
Nothing screams haunted house like giant cobwebs, complete with spiders and their poor prey. And if you just mistook a cookbook for a spell book because the cover's hardly readable from the inch-thick layer of dust, it’s a pretty good sign that you haven’t been as diligent in cleaning as you should be.

Grab a broom or a rag and start dusting. Make sure to get every corner including ones you frequently neglect, like the cabinet under the sink or the areas between the furniture and the walls.

You will not make a fan out of arachnophobics with a decoration like this.


Sludgy faucet water
In horror movies, murky tap water solely occurring in your property is an omen that an otherworldly being is roaming the halls. In real life, it's a sign of plain old plumbing maintenance. And it’s not just gross; it’s also dangerous if ingested.

Double-check your pipes to see if any of them are rusty and in need of changing. An easy way to find out which pipes might be causing the issue is to compare the clarity of the water coming from different faucets in the property. Plumbing can be a pretty complicated issue, so you might be better off calling in an expert to see what's really going on.

This definitely isn't holy water.


Handprints or strange streaks
Having a peeping tom spy on you while you sleep is one creepy thought, and that’s one of the things that might run through a buyer’s head if they see those hand prints on the windows. And what’s up with those strange water streaks in the walls? Are you shooting a reenactment of the bloody corridor scene in “The Shining”?

Clean and buff every reflective surface – windows, mirrors, brass handles, etc. – to get them looking neat and shiny. Scrub the walls clear of various stains and smudges, or repaint the walls if you can’t get them out. If the streaks were caused by a leak in the walls or ceiling, remember to take care of these damages too.

Since when did water leaks lead to any good in any situation, movie or real life?


Squeaky hinges
Imagine being alone in your quiet home, minding your own business, when a door or a window slowly creaks open. You slowly look over and see... that the hinges are old and rusty.

Grab some lubricating formula or a bit of grease and apply it on all the hinges in the house, including the ones in the bedroom closets and kitchen cupboards. If a hinge is too rusty that even a couple of squirts of lubricant can’t fix it, a replacement’s in order.

Those squeaks better be coming from the hinges in the windows, not the holes in the corners.


A messy garden
In fright flicks, what surrounds the large, dark house that no one dares to knock on? An overgrown lawn. How about decrepit warehouses where a madman keeps his victims? Shrubs as tall as you. And abandoned hospitals with a dubious past? You know where this is going.

Keep your property from looking like an ancient burial ground or body disposal site by trimming the overgrowth. Remember to water the soil too to encourage green growth if the lawn’s looking a bit, um, dead. Also, if you’ve dumped enough stuff outside to mimic a junk yard, you might want to permanently send these away as well.

Maybe the ghost baby occupying that bassinet got lost in all that overgrowth.

When prospective buyers come to see it, you want them to call you or your broker to make an offer, not a priest for an exorcism. Before putting your home up for sale, give it a good cleaning, repair or replace what’s damaged and stage it properly.


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(Photos from shutterstock)

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