Selling a Hoarder House
If it already takes a lot of effort to sell a well-maintained property, imagine how challenging it can be to market a hoarder house. It could take months or years before it can be staged for sale and there’s no guarantee that someone will take an interest in it. Nevertheless, if you need to sell a hoarder house, know that it is challenging but not impossible.
There are two ways to sell a hoarder house. To sell a hoarder house with a real estate agent, you will need to do a massive clean-up and make repairs and upgrades before you market the house. Note that the clean-up and repairs can be costly in a hoarder house. If you want to save on these costs and avoid the headaches, you can sell the hoarder house off-market to cash buyers.
If the hoarder house is beyond repair, your decision of how to sell may be made for you– a cash buyer could be your only option depending on the severity of the hoarding issue.
Want to know if you can still do something about your hoarder house and how to sell it at the best price? Keep reading!
What is a Hoarder House?
A hoarder house is the dwelling place of someone with a hoarding disorder; thus, it is filled with excessive personal belongings.
Because of too many unorganized hoarded items stored inside, the home is in disarray. It can be difficult to identify which room is which or even find a footpath.
Often, the items in hoarder houses have no value, but they remained in the house for years or even decades. This is because the owner had difficulty throwing them away.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA), hoarding is an emotional disorder that combines an intense need to acquire things but finds it difficult to get rid of them.
While it is easy to judge a seller of a hoarder home and assume that they have a hoarding disorder, remember that often, they may have only inherited the property from a loved one who passed. Not all hoarder houses are owned by the person with a hoarding problem.
Threats and Challenges of a Hoarder House
There are a number of reasons why hoarder homes pose a threat to the seller and prospective buyers.
The issues present from hoarding should be addressed right away because they can cause damages and the owner could be legally liable.
For starters, the trash build-up makes hoarder houses unsanitary and unsafe. It can be difficult to breathe normally given the obstructions, so anyone staying inside the home, including the one with the hoarding disorder, could potentially hyperventilate or even suffocate.
Another issue with the hoarded items and trash is that they take up so much space and there’s no more room for movement inside the house. These hoarded items are tripping and fire hazards.
Molds and infestations are also major issues in a hoarder home. These can cause infections and other significant health concerns if the hoarding is out of hand.
To makes matters worse, there may also be animal waste and human feces inside the property that can facilitate the growth of bacteria.
Given that the home is in a state of decay, the smell inside will be far from pleasant. Those who will clean the house would need to wear ventilation masks.
There’s also a possibility that the house has irreparable structural problems if it hasn’t been maintained for years.
Can You Sell a Hoarder House?
Yes, you can sell a hoarder’s house. But, the process is not as fast and easy as selling a well-maintained home on the market.
Usually, a hoarder home will not sell on the real estate market as-is. You will have to get rid of the clutter and make repairs and updates so an individual buyer or family can purchase the property.
This means spending money to hire a junk removal team, a cleaning crew, and a contractor to make the repairs and upgrades.
The good news is that there is a simple way to sell your home even if it was once owned by a family of hoarders…
You can get a fair cash offer from a legitimate cash buyer company. This way, you will not need to make repairs. We’ll get into the details of this later on.
Reasons to Sell a Hoarder House
If you’ve inherited a house from a relative who had a hoarding disorder, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of work required to get it market ready. While this is understandable, there are two reasons why you should act quickly to sell a hoarder’s house.
High Ownership Costs
As with any property, you would have to pay taxes and insurance if you are its legal owner. That means, if you inherited a hoarder home, your monthly and annual costs will increase.
If any accidents happen, let’s say a fire breaks out, your homeowner’s insurance premiums would also increase. You cannot own a home without these financial risks, more so if it is a hoarder property.
Most often, hoarder houses are not up to a city or county’s code. This means you could be racking up fines. In the worst case, this means that the home could be unsafe to live in. Further, if someone visited the home and got injured, the owner will be legally liable.
How to Sell a Hoarder House
As established earlier, the process of selling a hoarder house is similar to selling any other property; however, it is more challenging because of the extensive clean-ups and repairs.
To help you sell a hoarder’s house on the market, check out the following tips:
Clean and Make Repairs
When planning to sell a hoarder house, the first step that an owner has to take is getting rid of all the trash that the person with the hoarding disorder left. This is time-consuming and expensive.
For starters, the owner has to hire a junk removal team. This may incur a hefty cost, especially if the team requests additional payments for moving large or heavy hoarded items.
Apart from removing trash, the fee to fix home damages can drive up the costs to thousands. This is especially true if the property has structural damage due to rot and mildew.
Make Upgrades to the Hoarder House
A hoarder house is typically out of date due to years of neglect.
If the seller wants to net more money when they sell the home, he should be willing to invest in upgrades apart from throwing away the hoarders’ stuff.
Upgrading the house means working with a contractor. This isn’t cheap, so the owner should calculate whether the costs will be recuperated when selling on the market or if it makes more sense to sell the hoarder house as-is to a cash buyer.
Find Prospective Buyers of the Hoarder Home
Depending on whether the hoarder house is deep cleaned and repairs and upgrades have been made, will help the seller decide on a way to sell the house and find home buyers quickly.
This part may be tough, but generally, sellers have three options— hire a real estate agent, sell FSBO, or sell the hoarder house to a cash buyer company.
Real Estate Agent
If the seller can find a real estate agent who already has experience selling hoarder homes, that would be fantastic. These real estate agents know the exact market for hoarder houses and may already have a few techniques up their sleeves.
Real estate agents can also give the homeowner the best value for their hoarder house if it was cleaned up, repaired, and upgraded.
For Sale By Owner
Homeowners also have the option to sell the hoarder house independently. That means pricing, listing, and marketing the hoarder’s house on their own.
While this is thought to net more money because there are no seller real estate agent commissions to pay, it is expensive to market a home and stressful compared to selling a home with some help.
Cash Home Buyer
If the homeowner thinks that getting rid of the clutter, repairing, and upgrading the hoarder house makes no financial sense, the best option is to call a cash buyer company and get a fair cash offer.
Many cash home buying companies specialize in restoring hoarder homes, so they buy them as-is. They won’t ask you to get rid of the trash or fix any of the house problems that existed due to hoarding.
The process of the sale is also not that complicated as these companies want to buy houses fast; the homeowner can walk away with cash in a matter of weeks instead of making repairs and waiting to find a buyer for months.
Why Do Owners Struggle Selling a Hoarder House?
When selling a hoarder’s house, you must manage your expectations— this applies to the selling timeline and how much you’ll net out of the sale. You cannot expect to get the most out of a hoarder house unless you have it fully renovated because marketing options are limited.
Here are two common struggles when selling your hoarder house on the real estate market.
No Interior Photos
According to Washington Post, professional-looking photos of a home greatly impacts the buyer’s decision.
However, taking photos of a hoarder house interior can drive home buyers away. In typical houses, the owner may hire a professional real estate photographer to take a lot of photos, but the same cannot be done with a hoarder house…
For one, if the house is being sold on the market as-is, the pictures of trash and clutter won’t entice home buyers.
Even if you’re done getting rid of all the junk, there may still be stains from mildew, damaged carpeting, and other issues that will reflect in the photos. This means you won’t be able to sell your hoarder house fast to a retail buyer.
Open Houses aren’t Possible
You cannot hold an open house when selling a hoarder house because it will expose people to mold and germs. There are also so many hazards inside a hoarder house and you’ll be liable in case of injuries.
With photos and open houses not an option, you will have a hard time reaching retail buyers. This leaves two options: making repairs or selling to cash buyers.
How Much Does it Cost to Clean Up a Hoarder Home?
Unless you plan to sell your hoarder house as-is to a cash buyer company, the first thing you need to think about is how much it will cost to deep clean it.
Considering the trash build-up inside the home, a one-time cleaning will not suffice.
Here are the specific costs of intensively cleaning a hoarder house:
- Removal of animal or human feces: $25 to $30 per hour
- Junk removal: $100 to $800 for a team, but can also be per person
- Sewage backup: $9,000 to $15,000
- Biohazard: $700 to $750 per hour
Note that these fees may vary based on the size of the house, its location, the junk left due to hoarding, etc.
But one thing is for sure, cleaning won’t be cheap. That is why many hoarder home sellers opt to get a cash offer and sell your house to cash buyers. With this option, owners of hoarder houses can leave the junk and headaches for the investor and walk away with cash and a fresh start.
Final Thoughts: How to Sell a Hoarder House
Selling a hoarder house and looking for potential buyers can be a great challenge. Regardless of whether the seller is the hoarder or a person who inherited it, it requires time, patience, and financial investmentto sell a hoarder house.
However, if the task of selling a hoarder house is really daunting for you, Sell My House Fast is here to help! We will buy your home as-is (yes, this includes removing junk) and even cover closing costs for you.
Take the first step to starting fresh by filling out the form below. You can also give us a call at (844) 207-0788 to learn more about selling a hoarder house.
Sell My House Fast For Cash!
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Author: Andy Kolodgie
Andy Kolodgie is an experienced real estate investor with a network that expands nationwide. As owner of Sell My House Fast, Andy’s goal is to provide home sellers with more options to their real estate problems than a traditional home sale. He’s been featured on multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, MSN, HomeLight, Credit.com, Apartment Therapy, Business.com, LegalZoom, Zolo, and Creditcards.com.