The Easiest Way To Sell A Hoarder’s House

How to sell a hoarder's house


I often find myself binging on Hoarder documentaries and reality shows, usually in utter disbelief, with gob wide open, thinking to myself, “Holy shit, it’s worse than I could have ever imagined.”

“How are they living like that? Why on God’s green earth is there a porcelain basin in the microwave?

Of course, I’ll never understand (hopefully), because the sad reality is, they’re in the situation they’re in – commonly surrounded by insurmountable clutter – because they’re not of rational mind. Hoarding is the consequence of a mental illness, and that’s precisely why it’s such a difficult situation to grasp, for both the hoarder and their close ones.

Often, one of the major steps to recovery is selling the hoarder’s house. Obviously, a gigantic task, with many challenges to overcome.

If we put aside the most difficult challenge of them all – to get the hoarder to agree to the sale in the first place – we still have to find an agent that’s willing to accept the challenge, and then encourage prospective punters willing to walk through the doors, let alone see and smell past the frightening accumulation.

So what’s the best easiest and quickest way to sell a hoarder’s house?

I personally wouldn’t recommend anyone in a normal situation to be ravaged by the services provided by Property Cash Buying Companies, because the hit they will have to endure when it comes to the sale price is painful, and often unnecessary. The best offer likely to be achieved is 85% of the market value. OUCH!

However, in the case of selling a hoarder’s home, we’re not talking about a normal situation, in fact, it’s a very abnormal situation, so I think it’s only sensible to accept that the traditional methods are unlikely to be the most effective.

The reality is, compromises will have to be made when selling a hoarder’s property, whether that’s in the form of significantly lowering the asking price or heavily investing in renovation pre-sale. Either way, it will cost in either time and money, or both. That’s a given.

In short, I think this is one of the very few rare scenarios whereby using a Property Cash Buying Company (also referred to as a “We buy any home” company) is a reasonable solution. Yes, it hurts me to say it, because it’s like using a hammer to deal with toothache. But sometimes you just need that hammer.

Why using a Property Cash Buying Company might be a good solution to selling a hoarder’s home!

  • They’re a quick and easy solution, which is often the requirement when trying to sell a hoarder’s house. Many of these companies boast about being able to make an offer within 24 hours and complete sales in as little as 7 days.

    To clarify, my conscious won’t allow me to actually claim that using a Property Cash Buying Company is the best solution for you, I think that will depend on your specific scenario, but I certainly think it’s broadly the most efficient solution.

  • They buy properties in any condition, even those crammed from wall-to-wall with clutter, urine and cats.
  • A large part of their business is based on buying difficult properties, which includes those compromised by hoarders, subsidence, Japanese knotweed etc.

    Case in point, here’s a Tweet I bumped into on my Twitter timeline, by someone that goes by the alias @landlord_secret):

    Cash buyer Tweet

    No, he didn’t sell a hoarder’s property, but he did sell a “difficult” property (which he described as a “wreck”), which is precisely what these cash buyer companies do.

  • Selling a hoarder’s property can be an extremely stressful time, and in my opinion, using a cash buying company minimises the stress just because of how quickly they can complete a sale. At some point, it’s worth weighing up the cost of the stress against the reduced rate these companies will offer.

List of the highest rated Property Cash Buying Services

If you want a no obligation cash offer to see how much you can get for your property, you’re in luck, because I’ve curated a list of reputable and highly rated property buying companies over here.

Be warned, this sector is unregulated, which means consumers aren’t protected when selling a property to these companies, so it’s critical to do your due diligence. I recommend using only services with good reviews and those that are members of redress schemes (like the companies I have added in my list).

What you should expect when selling a hoarder’s house to a professional “We buy any house” company

To help provide you with real insight, I contacted MyHomebuyersthey’re one of several highly rated and reputable companies within the industry – to drop some knowledge.

I asked them a few questions that I suspect most people in this difficult situation might be considering. Please bear in mind, MyHomebuyers can only speak for themselves, but you can gage how other companies in the sector may also operate by their responses…

Oh, and no (just in case you’re thinking it), this is NOT a sponsored blog post, and I’m not advising anyone to use their service over any other, I just happen to have a good working relationship with the folk behind MyHomebuyers, so I felt most comfortable asking them for further details on the process [of selling a hoarder’s house], because I know they deal with hoarders’ on a regular basis. I don’t have a preferred supplier, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that MyHomebuyers are among the top of my pile.

Q1. Generally speaking, how difficult is it to sell a hoarder’s house [compared to a normal house sale]?

Selling a hoarder’s house on the open market can be extremely difficult. We have dealt with a number of agents and surveyors who have refused to enter properties that we have bought in the past. Its also tough as most buyers wouldn’t want to enter the properties in the condition that we often find them in.

Q2. What’s the biggest challenge when selling a hoarder’s house?

The biggest challenge is the homeowner themselves. Often they have lived in the property for many years and what we perceive to be junk, they have a close attachment to which is the very reason they have amassed, stored and hoarded all of their items. Letting go and moving in is a process that is extremely difficult for them and a lot of empathy and patience has to come from the buyer to work with them as they prepare for their next chapter.

Q3. As a “we buy any house” company, is there such a thing as “too messy” (i.e. are there some houses that you won’t buy purely based on the mess/clutter)?

No, ultimately when we complete on the property the first thing that we do is arrange for a commercial company to come and clear the property. The highest bill that we have had is just short of £5,000. As a company, this just gets factored into our overheads on the purchase of the property.

Q4. How is a house’s value impacted by mess/hoarding?

I think it affects the value quite a lot, often you can’t see past the mess, which means there are a lot of unknowns. This can put a lot of buyers off. An example of one that we purchased is after the house was cleared we discovered that the lounge floor had given way and the whole floor needed replacing. This is a cost that was not factored but there would be no way of establishing the true level of work until the property was cleared.

Q5. What’s your process when it comes to buying a hoarder’s house?

It depends on how cluttered the property is. We have had purchases where the surveyor has refused to go in. In this instance, we had to buy the property blindly. This can be quite tricky but ultimately we had to make assumptions and hope that our calculations were right. If a property is fully accessible then we treat it as a normal purchase and value the property on its condition instead of how cluttered it is. Once the property becomes vacant and we clear it out it just becomes another property that needs some work on it.

Q6. Any final [unbiased] thoughts/advice for anyone trying to shift a hoarder’s house?

If possible, clear it out. This can be easier said than done. If the owner needs their handheld, the best option might be doing it when it’s vacant, on the other hand, the owner may need the money to move on and can’t afford thousands on a clear out. If the property is a probate property the family might find it too difficult to clear and just want to walk away. This is where a service like ours can be very valuable. The property will definitely become more valuable/saleable if it is feasible to clear, my advice would always be to try and clear it out to get the best price possible.

Hope you found that useful. I did.

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered, drop a comment below and I’ll see what I can do!

Once again, if you want an non-obligatory cash offer from MyHomebuyers or another highly-rated company, you can do so from here. I personally recommend getting a few quotes!

Needless to say, best of luck!

1 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
eleanor hartmann 31st July, 2021 @ 15:21

like your comments even though you are not from u.s. but comments are comforting..going crazy with horder daughter living rent free who doesn't think she is hording but selling or trying to sell to make ends meet...will try your solutions. thanks

















Your personal information will *never* be sold or shared to a 3rd party. By submitting your details, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

I want more info on...