What to Do When You Need to Sell a Hoarder House
When a friend or family member is a hoarder, it can be a delicate issue to deal with. Hoarding is a unique psychological disorder that has unfortunate negative effects on the hoarder and everyone around them. Media and television shows have raised awareness about the issue in recent years, which has allowed the public to better understand it and seek help for those affected. When you or someone you know needs to sell a hoarder house, here is some more information to help you understand what to do in this situation.
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Hoarding was officially designated a mental disorder in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association. It affects between 2 to 6 percent of the population, but that number is just a guess because caregivers often don’t get an official diagnosis. It can be hard to know what steps to take first to help someone in this situation.
Typically, people with hoarding disorder collect items with no immediate need and have trouble discarding them. It often stems from a trauma they have experienced and not dealt with. Some collect items like clothes, furniture or other household items. Others will collect items that seem to have no monetary value, such as disposable cups, newspapers or receipts. The items pile up throughout the house, creating cluttered, unsanitary conditions and fire hazards.
Sometimes people don’t know about an older relative’s hoarding until it’s too late. By that time, the hoarding has gone on for many years and can have severe effects on the person and their house. If you find yourself in a position where you need to sell a hoarder home, here are the steps you can take.
A hoarder home will not usually sell on the market as-is. Even if you do find a regular buyer for it, they will need to take on the task of cleaning it out. The only way you can hope to sell the home is to clean out all the items. You’ll likely need to rent a dumpster and pull everything out. You can also pay people to come in and take all the hoarded possessions, however that will come at an increased cost.
After you have removed all the possessions, there will be a lot more cleaning to do. A deep cleaning is necessary to remove the unsanitary conditions that have accumulated due to the hoarding. It’s not uncommon to find mold and pest problems in hoarded homes, which needs to be treated professionally to ensure it doesn’t come back.
Some people try to take a shortcut by not doing the cleaning and only taking photos of the home’s exterior. Unfortunately, this is a red flag for many online buyers. If they only see exterior shots, they know something is wrong with the inside. This discourages buyers from looking at the house.
After cleaning out the house, you will likely discover that you need to do repairs. Hoarder homes can suffer from an array of damages from leftover food, vermin, mold, and pet damage. This can cause issues with the finishes, plumbing and even structural problems. Walls and floors may be damaged, and plumbing may be clogged or ruined altogether.
Unfortunately, a lot of those problems are hard to see by doing a simple examination of the property. The best course of action is often to get a home inspector out who can tell you exactly what is wrong. Buyers will be having a home inspection done, so performing the inspection will let you know what you need to fix.
You may also find that fixing one thing leads to the discovery of other problems. For example, removing a baseboard might show evidence of mold which needs to be taken care of professionally. Replacing flooring may reveal structural issues. Home buyers will be very wary of purchasing a property without these repairs done though, so, unfortunately, they’re necessary.
Update the House to Modern Standards
One problem with hoarder homes is that they often get to the point where the sheer volume of items prevents anyone from entering. The home has probably been owned for decades. In addition to repairs not being performed, nothing ever gets upgraded. The air conditioning system may be outdated. The owner may not have painted the home in years. You will likely have to perform a significant number of upgrades to modernize the house and make it marketable.
Get A Cash Offer Instead
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of performing all these fixes, you’re not alone. To sell a hoarder home, you will need to clean it, perform necessary repairs, and update it to look more modern. There is no way around this. If you try and sell the home as-is, you will find that there are very few regular buyers on the market willing to step into that kind of a mess. Houses owned by hoarders can cost tens of thousands to repair. It’s not uncommon to see the total bill exceed $100k to make the home livable and desirable.
Furthermore, it may take longer to prepare the house than you have time to wait for. A New York City real estate agent who works with clients who have a hoarding issue says it can take months for the home to get to the point where improvements can begin. It can be a steep hill to climb.
It may not make financial sense to spend the time, energy, and money necessary to clean up a hoarder home. It’s a lot of work. Instead, it makes more sense to let a company that specializes in these types of home restorations take over. You can sell the hoarder house and get a cash offer. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars or, worse, get a home equity line to cover the repairs. Instead, you walk away with money, and we take care of the rest. You will also receive your cash much faster than if you took the time to perform all the necessary fixes and then market the home.
Companies dedicated to cleaning up and restoring hoarder homes for sale are better equipped to deal with unforeseen issues. We can also offer you a quick and private solution to selling the house. Save yourself the time, energy, and money by getting a cash offer today.
Get Help Selling a Hoarder House
If you or someone you know needs help selling a hoarder house, contact us today. We can help you with the ins and outs of dealing with the home including cleanup and transfer of sensitive items. Request your offer today.