The King of Pop refused to return to his sprawling home in Santa Barbara County following a police raid in 2004 during an investigation into child molestation charges against him - and the place that once boasted an amusement park rides and housed the pop star's many exotic animals has been empty ever since.

Jackson bought the 2,700-acre property in 1987 for $19.5 million (GBP13 million) and staged his marriage ceremony to Lisa Marie Presley there in 1995.

The late superstar defaulted on a $24.5 million (GBP16.3 million) loan backed by the ranch and investment firm Colony Capital took over Neverland in 2008, with a view to selling it.

The estate now features over 20 structures including the main house, guest houses, 50-seat movie theatre and a station that served as a stop-off point for Jackson's miniature railway.

Keen to keep fans away from the estate, the realtors hoping to sell the ranch are planning an "extensive prequalification" of all potential buyers before showing the property.

Sotheby’s International Realty's Suzanne Perkins says, "We’re not going to be giving tours."