In our line of work we’ve run into several hoarder homes that were once prized family houses and are now crumbling under the weight of their clutter. Hoarding is a psychological disorder, and trying to sell a hoarder house can be nearly impossible.
Here are Junk360’s tips for getting a hoarder’s house both on the market and sold.
Major Barriers for Selling a Hoarder’s House
When it comes to listing your hoarder house on the market, there are four major problems to consider prior to listing. These include:
- Getting Photos of the Interior: A vast majority of home buyers look for their new home online; meaning that the only way to entice prospective home buyers is with photos. Taking pictures of a cluttered interior or only posting exteriors is not a tactic that will help the house sell quickly.
- Dangerous Open House Logistics: A buyer who has to step on or over unstable and dangerous materials is a safety concern. It’s also a recipe for disaster, should anyone injure themselves during a viewing.
- Negative Impressions: Like customers at a restaurant, prospective home buyers eat with their eyes. If their first impression of a home is a messy, dirty, cluttered, dangerous disaster, offers are not likely to be forthcoming.
When looking to sell a hoarder’s home, there are two options: fix it or sell as-is. When it comes to the second option, the best bet is to sell to a real estate investor rather than putting it on the market. This is a faster and easier process, but be prepared to take a financial loss.
However, if you have time and resources, fixing up a hoarder’s home can be worth it in the long run.
Tips for Cleaning and Decluttering a Hoarder’s House
There are several crucial steps to take when cleaning a hoarder’s home in order to achieve a favorable outcome of such an overwhelming endeavor. To clean a hoarder’s home, make sure you:
- Assess the Situation: Start by prioritizing the work that needs to be done. Figure out what resources you are going to need and how much time each specific task will take. Decide if this is a project you can tackle on your own or will need to hire outside help.
- Gather Necessary Supplies: Safety first. Get hold of disposable gloves, dust masks, and goggles to avoid exposure to mold, parasites, and other health concerns that may be present in a hoarder’s home. Wear sturdy shoes and a hard hat when you enter the house. You will also need cleaning equipment and may want to consider renting a dumpster.
- Sort, Clean, Restore: Work one room at a time - saving storage spaces and closets for last. Empty each room from top to bottom, getting of the trash and sorting salvageable items. When the house is clear of trash and clutter, it’s time to deep clean the property.