The first step in selling a hoarder’s house is to understand that hoarding is a complex mental health disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association, hoarding disorder afflicts up to 6 percent of the population. The best way to help sell the home of a hoarder is to be understanding, patient and always keep in mind these important facts.
- To some degree, we are all afflicted with hoarding disorder. Many of us have a closet full of clothes that we never wear. There is food in our pantry that we end up throwing away because the good by date has expired. How many of us have a junk drawer or cabinet full of stuff that we keep because we may use it someday?
- The issue is not laziness or bad habits, hoarding is a mental health disorder that needs to be treated with the same understanding, care, and empathy as any other mental health disorder or disease.
- Most hoarders understand the afflictions of hoarding disorder and do their best to overcome the effects of the disorder. They suffer from constant internal conflict between what they realize is the sensible thing to do versus what the disorder is compelling them to do. To make the process easier for all involved, it is important to understand this internal conflict and help them productively deal with their emotions.
- The hoarder must recognize that disposing of the excess items and selling the house is not a punishment, but part of the healing process. The hoarder may need to be assured of this many times during the process.
Selling the home of a person with hoarding disorder can be mentally and physically challenging for everyone involved. You need to be prepared for the emotional challenges as well as dealing with the potentially poor condition of the home. This can be stressful and seem overwhelming, but with the information below we hope to make it quicker and easier to sell the home.
Let’s start by looking at the various ways you can sell the home.
Selling the House the Traditional Method
The typical home buyer will start their search online, looking at pictures and the description of homes. The next step of selling a house on the open market is for buyers to tour the home they are potentially interested in buying. When you are selling a hoarder’s house, it can be difficult to get good pictures to attract potential purchasers and without good pictures, it will be almost impossible to get potential buyers to tour the home. Even if you get some acceptable pictures that attract a potential buyer, you must overcome the desire of the average buyer who is looking to buy their dream home. With our busy lifestyle, the typical buyer does not have the time or interest in buying a major repair project.
The other challenge is buyer financing, FHA, VA, and most traditional lenders will not approve a loan on a property that fails inspection. Realistically, if you want to sell the home the traditional method, you will need to clean, repair, and upgrade the home.
So what is involved in cleaning, repairing, and upgrading a house that was occupied by a hoarder?
Remove All of the Personal Items
The first task is to remove all of the items that have been hoarded. This will need to be done carefully, rooms that have been full of stuff for many years can have hidden dangers. Many homes that are full of personal items will also have rodent infestations which can include mice, rats, roaches, and fleas. If there are infestations, there will be feces, urine, and dead animals. These can be a biohazard that will require extra care and professional help to remove and clean. Since there is the potential of contracting a disease or serious illness, this is not a do-it-yourself project. Even when you hire a professional to clean out the home, a family member or friend will need to oversee the removal of the personal items since not everything in the house will be trash. Most likely there will be pictures, keepsakes, and heirlooms that the family will want to keep.
Clean and Exterminate
Once all the personal items have been removed, you will need to hire a professional cleaning company to clean and disinfect the home. Their job is to ensure any remaining potential biohazards have been cleaned and removed. The home will also need to be inspected and treated for any rodent and insect infestation. Typically, this requires an initial treatment and many times follow up treatments to eliminate the infestation. Having these done professionally is critical for the protection of everyone.
Inspect, Repair and Upgrade
Cleaning the home was a major step in preparing the home for sale, but there is still a lot that will need to be done. The home has likely been neglected for many years since the excess items in the home may have prevented repair technicians from entering the home to perform repairs or upgrades. A home occupied by a hoarder can have a wide range of damage. Walls, floors, ceiling, and structural damage are very common. Many times the systems, fixtures, finishes, and appliances are outdated and the home may not have painted for many years. The home will probably need a significant number of improvements before the home will appeal to a typical home buyer.
Many of these problems can be impossible to identify by doing a simple visual examination, so you will want to engage the services of a professional home inspector. The inspector will provide you with a detailed report showing all of the defects and code violations that they found. If requested, many inspectors will also provide a cost estimate for repairing the defects and code violations. This step is very important, so please take the time to create a realistic budget for completing the repairs and upgrades. Once you have the inspection and a realistic budget, you can seek bids from qualified contractors to perform the work.
Note of caution, negotiating, supervising, and dealing with construction contractors can be a stressful and time-consuming undertaking. You can expect to have workmanship issues, contractual disputes, and cost overruns that you will need to resolve. Our best advice, think long and hard about the risks before you jump in.
The Quick and Easy Way!
The quick and easy alternative is to sell the house to an all cash home buyer, like OutFactors, who will buy the home as-is. This is a quick and easy alternative that eliminates all of the risks and potential problems. Let someone else take the risks of cleaning out the house and restoring the damage to the home.
Selling your home as-is to OutFactors has many advantages.
- You get a fair all cash offer in 1 day. There is never a cost or obligation to get an offer.
- We can close in 10 days or less. You choose the closing date.
- We put everything in writing using standard Texas approved contract forms.
- You get a fresh start without adding stress to your already busy life.
- You avoid the financial and physical risks. If there are cost overruns or problems, they are not your problem.
When We Buy the Home You Get to Keep Your Memories
When you sell to OutFactors, we work very closely with the family during the removal process. We take the time to separate the personal items into three categories – items that will be discarded, items that will be donated, and items that the family will keep.
Every situation and person is different, but you can be confident that the professionals at OutFactors will treat you with understanding, compassion, and respect. Please visit OutFactors.com for additional information or if you are ready to receive your fair all cash offer click here and see why it is better and faster to sell to OutFactors.
We hope this information was informative and helps you decide what is best for you and your family.
539 West Commerce Street
Dallas, Texas 75208
Sell a Hoarder’s House the Quick and Easy Way | OutFactors — Dallas, Texas