We cover the issues one might encounter selling a hoarder house and how to overcome those challenges.
Hoarding disorder is a mental condition that is associated with the excessive accumulation of items. It creates a perceived need to acquire and keep countless amount of things regardless of their actual value or usage with a persistent difficulty to discard or get rid of them. This often leads to cramped living conditions as the house is sometimes filled to capacity.
According to RisMedia, 2% to 5% of the US population are considered hoarders. This makes hoarding more common than you might think. Yet, no less damaging as it often creates unsafe conditions for both the hoarder and other neighbors around the hoarding home.
Trying to rid themselves of masses amounts of clutter can be stressful, hoarders are often indecisive and emotionally paralyzed at the prospect of doing so due to obsessive thoughts on how they might still need certain items in their home. Even at the risk of losing everything, including their homes, and the well-being and health of their families, and their own.
Eventually, hoarder homes must be sold. This can just be a part of life, needing to relocate to another home, at the passing down of an estate, or due to local laws and condemnation of the property, and legal orders to vacate and sell the hoarder house.
What Are The Issues With Selling A Hoarder Home?
While there may often be no choice but to sell a hoarder house, except to allow it to be seized in foreclosure, that doesn’t mean it will be easy to sell.
Selling hoarder’s house is definitely preferable to just allowing the property to be taken away, and the owner still potentially owing all debts that were attached to it, but there can be challenges.
Trying to sell a hoarder home like this can be stressful and create an emotional turmoil for the hoarder, and family members. If it is your house, it can be smart to enroll the help of a family member to help you through it. If you are helping a family member who is suffering from hoarding disorder, your job is to both be there to empathize, yet help them get through it, and swiftly.
When you help a hoarder to find a prospective buyer for their home, you are helping them achieve a sale. They may not be appreciative during the process, but can be very grateful afterwards. It can take some tough love. Stick it out.
Selling a hoarder home, or even preparing one for sale can be a logistical challenge. Even if you live locally to the property and do not have to deal with travel and expenses, it can mean time out of work, and a lot of time in coordination. Even if you can afford to spend weekend and after weekend, and week after week dealing with it, it may well cost you in your other relationships and responsibilities.
What do you do with all the stuff when selling a hoarder’s house? You may need to coordinate with cleaners, charities, waste disposal firms, the city, and agents and potential buyers. It can be a full-time job trying to sell a hoarder house.
Sifting Through the Stuff
Whether the hoarder themselves is helping you or not, you’ll typically be tempted to sift through the items in the hoarding house as much as possible. You’d think there may be something of value there. Often there may not be much, given age of the belongings, and certainly in contrast with the cost of losing the property or the house. Still, you may want to look out for paperwork and personal items which may have some meaning, or donate many items in the home to nonprofits which can put them to use. If they are safe.
Hiring Cleaners & Contractors
Every home seller needs to do some cleaning and repairs before putting their property on the housing market. However, in many hoarding house situations, you will need a lot more than a quick cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, and getting rid of old appliances.
You may required to bring in professional biohazard level services, similar to those used after a crime scene investigation. This is not a cheap, fast, or simple clean-up job in a regular house. Hoarding can create serious healthcare concerns and dangers lurking in homes with lots of clutter as there might be heavy odors from biological wastes such as dead animals, animal feces, rotten walls and floorboards, and sewage backup. There can also be dangerous chemicals, hazardous materials, or infectious diseases in hoarder houses. This requires extreme cleaning to make the house sell-ready.
If a lower level of cleanout is needed, you can hire a senior move manager to help declutter. Our sister organization, My Move Project, helps hoarders in the Sacramento area. If you’re outside of that area, visit NASMM.org to find a move manager near you.
If you’ve ever moved, or tried to do a deep cleaning and organizing of your own home, you know that the job can notoriously grow larger and larger as you dig in. What looks manageable can turn into a massive undertaking, that just keeps becoming a larger burden as you dig deeper. All while the clock is ticking away to sell the property, expenses are rising, and the risk of loss grows.
Once the hoarder’s home is completely cleared out, and made safe (if possible), then you’ll typically need to begin bringing in trustworthy contractors and inspectors to assess the situation of the house, provide quotes on necessary repairs such as electrical systems, plumbing, and even structural problems, and begin laying out a scope of work and timeline. This may be a lengthy process, though code enforcement fines and violation penalties can add up by the day. Sometimes this is as high as $1,000 per day.
The Complexity of a Sale
The common method of finding a real estate agent, listing a home for sale, and inviting prospective buyers for viewings and to do their own inspections is complex enough without a hoarding situation. If the home hasn’t yet been cleared and declared safe, it may not only be visually unappealing, but a health and safety hazard. You may not be permitted to bring people into a hoarder home at all.
You can imagine the challenge that presents in trying to sell a hoarder’s house.
Even if you can bring real estate agents and buyers in to sell the property, if the hoarder is still in the picture, they can be a major roadblock. It is in their best interest, but because of the hoarding disorder, they can push back against visitors, be offended by comments, or simply find excuses to delay or back out of a contract during the process which can take months.
In the case of a probate home sale there can be extra privacy concerns too. You don’t want photos of the home all over the internet for eternity, or for that situation to be the lasting final memory the world has of them.
How to Easily Sell a Hoarder House
Fortunately, there is an alternative to sell your home.
By working with an investor-buyer, many of the challenges of selling hoarded homes can be overcome.
Companies that buy houses specialize in these types of properties and are very familiar with the legal and safety challenges. They have sound processes for working through the process, and making it more palatable to hoarders and their family members, and more profitable too.
As experienced real estate investors, we are not deterred by the condition of the property. We will simply buy the house as-is. We have been helping homeowners for years to get rid of burdensome houses fast and get a fair cash offer. You don’t need to get bogged down in hoarder house cleanup, clear code violations, closing costs, or deal with all the expense, or making repairs.
The best part? You don’t even have to clear out belongings in the house.
We can have our experts handle that. They go into your home with care. Can help sort items, and handle the logistics of boxing and shipping out items to family members, charities, and to the dump. We can work directly with your family attorneys if needed, and take the stress out of it.
Lastly, we can close in just a matter of days, relieving you and your loved ones of a great deal of stress due to time constraints, legal threats, and mounting financial losses over your home. That can put more money in your pocket, and allow you to get on with working toward, and enjoying a brighter future once you sell the house.
Call us at 866-207-1940 or fill out the form below to get started. We now buy houses nationwide and can make the process of selling a hoarder house fast and extremely easy