How to Sell a Hoarder House In SF Bay Area

Selling a hoarder’s house poses unique challenges compared to a well-maintained one. Marketing a hoarder house can be particularly tough, often requiring extensive time and effort to prepare for sale, with no guarantee of interest from buyers. However, despite the difficulties, selling a hoarder house is feasible.

There are two main approaches to selling a hoarder house. One option involves enlisting the help of a real estate agent, which typically entails a significant cleanup effort and the completion of necessary repairs and upgrades before listing the property. It’s important to note that these tasks can incur substantial costs in the case of a hoarder house. Alternatively, to bypass these expenses and potential complications, you can opt to sell the hoarder house directly to cash buyers without listing it on the market.

In situations where the hoarder house is beyond salvaging, your choices may be limited, and selling to a cash buyer might be the only viable solution depending on the severity of the hoarding problem.

Want to know if you can still do something about your hoarder house and how to sell it at the best price? Keep reading!

Selling a Hoarder House In SF Bay Area

A hoarder house is a property where someone has a hoarding issue, so it’s full of lots of personal stuff.

Because there’s so much stuff piled up everywhere and it’s not organized, the house is a mess. It’s hard to even figure out which room is which or walk around.

Usually, the stuff in hoarder houses isn’t worth much, but it stays there for a long time, sometimes years or even decades. That’s because the owner has a hard time throwing things away.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), hoarding is an emotional disorder where someone really wants to collect things but has a tough time getting rid of them.

It’s easy to think that the person selling a hoarder house has the hoarding problem, but sometimes they just inherited the property from someone who died. Not everyone who owns a hoarder house has a hoarding issue.

What is a Hoarder House In SF Bay Area

Homes with excessive clutter, known as hoarder homes, pose serious risks to both sellers and potential buyers in the real estate industry.

The accumulation of trash and items in hoarder homes creates unsanitary and hazardous conditions, making it challenging for individuals to navigate safely within the property. This clutter can obstruct airflow, leading to breathing difficulties and potentially causing individuals, including those with hoarding disorders, to hyperventilate or suffocate.

Furthermore, the sheer volume of hoarded items limits movement within the house and increases the risk of trips and fires.

challenges of selling a hoarder house in  SF Bay Area

Mold and pest infestations are common in hoarder homes, posing health risks such as infections. Additionally, the presence of animal waste and human feces can promote bacterial growth, further compromising the property’s hygiene.

The decay and neglect of hoarder homes result in unpleasant odors, requiring those involved in cleaning to wear ventilation masks.

Structural issues may also be present due to years of neglect, potentially rendering the property irreparable.

Overall, addressing these issues promptly is crucial to mitigate risks and ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved in the real estate transaction.

Can You Sell a Hoarder House?

Can You Sell a Hoarder House In SF Bay Area

Yes, it’s possible to sell a hoarder’s house, but it’s not as quick or straightforward as selling a well-maintained home on the market.

Normally, a hoarder’s house won’t sell in its current condition. You’ll need to declutter and fix it up so that a potential buyer or family can buy it.

This means investing in services like junk removal, cleaning, and hiring a contractor for repairs and upgrades.

The good news is, there’s an easier way to sell your house, even if it was previously owned by hoarders…

You can receive a fair cash offer from a reputable cash buyer company. This means you won’t have to worry about making repairs. We’ll delve into the specifics of this later.

Reasons to Sell a Hoarder House

If you’ve inherited a house from a relative who had a hoarding disorder, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of work required to get it market ready. While this is understandable, there are two reasons why you should act quickly to sell a hoarder’s house. 

High Ownership Costs

Like any property, owning a hoarder house means dealing with taxes and insurance. If you inherit one, your monthly and yearly expenses will go up. If there’s a fire or any accidents, your home insurance costs will rise too. Owning any home involves financial risks, especially if it’s a hoarder house.

Legal Liability

Most often, hoarder houses are not up to a city or county’s code. This means you could be racking up fines. In the worst case, this means that the home could be unsafe to live in. Further, if someone visited the home and got injured, the owner will be legally liable.

How to Sell a Hoarder House

As established earlier, the process of selling a hoarder house is similar to selling any other property; however, it is more challenging because of the extensive clean-ups and repairs.
To help you sell a hoarder’s house on the market, check out the following tips:

Clean and Make Repairs

When preparing to sell a property with hoarding issues, the initial task is clearing out the clutter left by the hoarder. This process can be both time-consuming and costly.
Initially, the owner must engage a junk removal service. This could result in significant expenses, particularly if additional charges are incurred for handling large or heavy items accumulated by the hoarder.
In addition to decluttering, expenses for repairing property damage can escalate, especially if there are structural issues caused by moisture-related problems like rot and mildew.

Make Upgrades to the Hoarder House

A property afflicted by hoarding often lacks modern features because it has been neglected over time.
To maximize profits from the sale, the seller should consider investing in renovations in addition to clearing out the hoarded items.
Renovations typically involve hiring a contractor, which can be costly. Therefore, the owner should weigh whether the investment will yield a higher sale price on the market or if it’s more advantageous to sell the hoarded house in its current condition to a cash buyer.

Find Prospective Buyers of the Hoarder Home

The condition of the hoarder house, after it’s cleaned and fixed up, influences how the seller chooses to sell it and attracts buyers fast.

Typically, sellers have three choices: they can hire a real estate agent, sell the house themselves (FSBO), or opt for a cash buyer company.

Find Prospective Buyers of the Hoarder Home In SF Bay Area

Real Estate Agent

If the seller connects with a real estate agent skilled in selling hoarder house, it’d be great. These agents understand the hoarder house market well and might have effective strategies.
Agents can also help homeowners get top dollar for their hoarder homes by tidying, fixing, and improving them.

For Sale By Owner

Homeowners also have the option to sell the hoarder house independently. That means pricing, listing, and marketing the hoarder’s house on their own.
While this is thought to net more money because there are no seller real estate agent commissions to pay, it is expensive to market a home and stressful compared to selling a home with some help. 

Cash Home Buyer

If the homeowner believes that decluttering, repairing, and upgrading the hoarder house isn’t financially viable, they should contact a cash buyer company for a fair cash offer.
Many cash home buyers focus on renovating hoarder house, buy as-is. They won’t require the homeowner to dispose of clutter or address issues resulting from hoarding.
The sales process is streamlined, as these companies prioritize quick transactions. Homeowners can receive cash within weeks instead of investing time and money in repairs and waiting for a buyer.

Why Do Owners Struggle Selling a Hoarder House?

Why Do Owners Struggle Selling a Hoarder House In SF Bay Area

When selling a hoarder’s house, it’s crucial to be realistic about the time it will take to sell and the potential profit. Fully renovating the property is often necessary to maximize its value, as marketing options are restricted. Here are two common challenges faced when selling a hoarder’s house in the real estate market.

No Interior Photos

According to Washington Post, professional-looking photos of a home greatly impacts the buyer’s decision.

However, photographing a hoarder house interior can deter potential home buyers. In usual properties, sellers often employ a professional real estate photographer to capture numerous images, but this isn’t feasible for a hoarder house.

Firstly, if the property is being marketed in its current condition, images showcasing debris and clutter won’t attract buyers.

Even after clearing out the clutter, there might still be mildew stains, worn carpeting, and other problems visible in the photos. Consequently, selling your hoarder house quickly to a traditional buyer becomes challenging.

Open Houses aren’t Possible

You can’t have an open house for a hoarder home due to mold and germs. Hoarder homes pose many risks and you’re responsible for injuries. Without photos and open houses, it’s tough to attract regular buyers. So, your choices are either fixing up the place or selling to cash buyers.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean Up a Hoarder Home?

Unless you plan to sell your hoarder house in its current condition to a cash buyer, your initial consideration should be the expense of thoroughly cleaning it.

Given the accumulation of debris within the premises, a single cleaning session won’t be adequate.

Here’s a breakdown of the costs involved in extensively cleaning a hoarder house:

  • Removal of animal or human feces: $25 to $30 per hour
  • Junk removal: $100 to $800 for a team, but can also be per person
  • Sewage backup: $9,000 to $15,000
  • Biohazard: $700 to $750 per hour

Note that these fees may vary based on the size of the house, its location, the junk left due to hoarding, etc.

However, it’s certain that the cost of cleaning will be substantial. That’s why numerous sellers with cluttered properties choose to receive a cash offer and sell their house to cash buyers. This approach allows owners of cluttered properties to offload the mess and hassles to investors and move forward with cash in hand for a new beginning.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean Up a Hoarder Home In SF Bay Area

Selling a hoarder house and seeking potential buyers can pose significant challenges in the real estate sector. Whether the seller is the clutter owner or an heir, the process demands time, patience, and financial resources.

However, if selling a hoarder house seems overwhelming, We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area offers assistance! We will buy your homes as-is (including junk removal) and cover closing expenses.

Take the first step to starting fresh by filling out the form below. You can also give us a call at (408) 557-7554 to learn more about selling a hoarder house in SF Bay Area.

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The Easiest Way To Sell Your House Fast In SF Bay Area

You’re in the driver’s seat when you accept our cash offer for your house. We make the process simple, fast, and easy to follow when working with us. You have no obligation to accept our cash offer for your home when contacting us for a fair cash offer for your home. No matter the reason you want to sell your house, we want to buy your home as is. Remember that you get many benefits that include no real estate agent commissions, no cleaning, no improvements, and no stress. Our cash offer for your as-is house assures you of fast cash payment at closing with a reputable Title company. You can count on our company to give you a fair cash offer for your home! If you’re still thinking, “I need to sell my house fast”, calling us could be your best decision all day. 🙂

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Gagan Saini

Author: Saini

My name is Saini, and I founded the We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area team with years of experience in the real estate industry. I have assisted numerous sellers in selling their homes quickly, “AS-IS”, and for a fair price.

He’s been featured in multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, LegalZoom, The Mortgage Report, Apartment Therapy, US News and World Report, and SuperMoney among others.

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