People struggling with hoarding often allow their houses to go into a state of disrepair, with cluttered possessions and low levels of cleanliness. What should you do if you end up with a hoarder house due to an inheritance or because of problematic tenants?
The Straightforward Option: Sell Your Home As Is, for Cash
If you’re like most people, the prospect of cleaning up the hoarder house is intimidating, bordering on terrifying. Depending on the severity of the situation, this could be a massive undertaking that takes months of effort. During that time, you may need to hire a revolving door of different experts and contractors to help you with the work, and you may be exposed to dangerous and unsanitary conditions during the process.
That’s why the most straightforward and easiest option is to sell your home as is, for cash.
The process goes something like this. You find an individual or an agency that’s willing to buy your property in cash. They review your property and make you a cash offer. If both parties agree to move forward, you receive the cash, they received the house, and the transaction is done.
These are the benefits of taking a cash offer for your hoarder house:
- Speed. People generally love the prospect of a cash offer because of the speed of the transaction. In a matter of days, you could have a cash offer on the table. Assuming you accept right away, the transaction could close in another day or two. Instead of spending months cleaning up the house and preparing it for sale, you can finish the deal and get rid of the house in as little as a week.
- Convenience. Nobody likes the idea of cleaning up a house that’s been neglected for years, or even decades. Why put yourself through all this effort if you don’t have to? Even if you choose to hire people to do the cleanup, you’ll still need to go through the process of browsing through different service providers, managing schedules, and making sure the work is done properly.
- Reduced stress. Even if you do feel up to the challenge of tackling hoarder house cleanup, you should know that this is a stressful endeavor – both physically and mentally. It can take a toll on you, leaving you exhausted, frustrated, and irritable.
- Reduced risk. Cleaning a hoarder house entirely on your own can be dangerous. These are unsanitary conditions, and there may be hazards you don’t know about, such as wild animals, biohazards, and health hazards like mold. Handing off the house to someone else is a way of reducing your risk, so you don’t have to worry about these threats or others.
Of course, there are a few downsides you’ll need to keep in mind.
- A lower price. When you receive a cash offer for a home, and when you receive an offer for your home as is, you’ll usually be sacrificing sale price. People may be willing to buy your home outright, but they probably won’t pay full market price for it. That said, you’ll save a lot of money in other areas by accepting this offer; you won’t have to pay for a real estate agent, you won’t have to pay for closing costs, and you won’t have to pay to clean up the property yourself. Because of this, the offer is often worth it.
- Limited flexibility. These transactions tend to be simple and straightforward, which means you don’t have much flexibility in how they play out. You may not be able to negotiate, and you certainly won’t be able to use the house yourself in the future.
- Forfeiture of possessions. In some hoarder houses, there are valuable possessions waiting to be discovered. If you sell the house as is, you’ll also be selling everything included within the property, so there’s a risk you’ll lose out on these items.
Cleaning and Preparing
If you decide not to take a cash offer for your house as is, your other option is to clean up and prepare the house for your next set of goals. This could be a future residence for you, it could serve as a rental property for your portfolio, you may want to list it for sale, or you could even demolish it and use the land for something else.
In any case, you’ll need to do the cleaning and prep work first:
- Make an initial assessment. Not all hoarder houses are the same. Before you make any plans for what you want to do with the property, make an initial assessment. How bad is the damage? How many possessions are here? Is this house hazardous? If possible, get a professional assessment.
- Hire pros (if you can). Speaking of professional assessments, hire pros whenever and wherever you can. Remediation specialists, real estate agents, and even financial advisors can provide you with better direction and advice.
- Protect yourself and others. Don’t forget the personal protective equipment when cleaning a hoarder house. You don’t know what hazards might be lurking there. Even simple pieces of protective equipment, such as goggles, masks, and gloves, can greatly improve your safety.
- Take things one room at a time. If you’re venturing into the house yourself, take things one room at a time. This is going to make the effort much less strenuous and much more manageable.
- Work top to bottom. When possible, work from top to bottom within each room. Start by decluttering and removing possessions, then clean from top to bottom so you don’t have to reclean any areas.
- Be ready to make full replacements. Some aspects of the property will be unsalvagable. You’ll need to be prepared to make full replacements of certain things, such as the carpet, appliances, and structural elements.
Are you intimidated by the prospect of cleaning this hoarder house entirely on your own? Are you just interested in making things easier on yourself? Get a cash offer on your home today – and stop worrying.