ROI in the Ruckus: A Step-by-Step Guide to Putting a Hoarder House Up For Sale



When tasked with selling a hoarder house, pinpointing a step one is no small feat amidst the rubble of collected newspapers and rotting food. Cleaning out the overabundance of personal possessions left behind can feel nearly impossible, and fixing up a house that has fallen into disrepair is a stressful process. 

To avoid becoming overwhelmed by the home and its contents, step back and develop a game plan. Tackling the process one step at a time will help you turn the house into a marketable real estate gem that’ll bring in plenty of offers. Here are five steps you should keep in mind when putting a hoarder house on the market.

Hire a biohazard cleaning service

With a hoarder house, it’s hard to say what you’ll find under the seemingly bottomless cluttered piles of personal possessions and junk. However, the likelihood that the home is in an unsanitary and potentially health-hazardous condition is very high. Bacteria and pathogens like E. coli are common in neglected hoarder homes, so cleaning extremely unsanitary conditions calls for an expert. 

When cleaning a hoarder house from top to bottom, you should hire a cleaning service specializing in biohazard decontamination like ECS Crime & Trauma Scene Cleanup. These cleanup technicians can handle any contaminated conditions, especially hoarding sites. They can also help eliminate any odors, ensuring the home is ready for potential buyers when open house season rolls around. 

Decide if you’ll fix it or sell as-is

While fixing a home up and selling it will surely bring in more of a profit than selling a house as-is, sometimes, the hassle of cleaning out a hoarder’s house doesn’t feel worth the blood, sweat, and tears invested. 

That said, if you’re strapped for cash or time, selling the home as-is can be an excellent option for you. When selling as-is, real estate investors are your best buyers, and you can locate investors through the internet, mail, and your local real estate agents. However, if you prefer to fix the home first, you can sell the house in a more traditional manner.

Clean and sort through personal items

If you’ve decided to fix your hoarder home rather than sell it as-is, you’ll need to sort through a fair amount of junk before updating the home. As you’re diving into the clean-up process, establish a sorting strategy first. Consider separating items into multiple categories like items to keep, belongings to purge, items to donate, and keepsakes to sell. The sorting and cleaning process can be a significant time commitment, so exercise patience, and soon enough, you’ll have an empty home.

Assess the neglect and damage

After the cleaning crews have left, it’s time to look at the home’s structure. With a hoarder home, chances are the house has been neglected for a long time. Hire home inspectors and professional contractors to make assessments and recommendations of areas to renovate and fix before selling. Determine what needs to be replaced and make plans for repairs and updates.

Complete renovations and updates

Once you’ve assessed the home, it’s time to start construction work. As you’re undergoing the renovation process, ensure that you’ve planned for any unforeseen issues in your budget. A seriously neglected home may have problems hidden beneath the surface that won’t rear their ugly heads until you’ve begun ripping up carpets and tearing into walls. 

In addition to basic repairs, evaluate what areas of the home need upgrades. Hoarder homes tend to be old and are impossible to update due to the sheer volume of items inside the house. Ensure that every area of the home is up to code and up to date. Once you’ve checked off these inspection criteriums, it’ll be under contract and out of your hands.

The bottom line

While selling a hoarder house may be a headache, it isn’t an impossible feat. Taking the process one step at a time can transform a hoarding site from a hopeless, dilapidated house to someone’s future home sweet home.