Inheriting property is usually a positive event in a person’s life. While the passing of a loved one is, of course, heartbreaking, the fact that the person bequeathed their worldly goods to you is lovely.
But the moment you inherit property, it becomes your responsibility. Whether you plan to move in or sell up, you may need to make significant improvements to the property. And if the previous occupant was a hoarder, your job will be doubly difficult.
Hoarding to extremes is often the result of psychological problems. Loneliness, depression, anxiety and PTSD are just a few of the potential root causes. And when the situation persists for several years, the property can end up in a terrible state.
If you’re planning to sell a hoarder’s home fast, here are a few tips to get you started.
The homes of hoarders are often crammed with possessions and rubbish. As a result, cleaning these properties has become increasingly complex over the years — and eventually impossible. There could be dangerous bacteria, dead animals, sharp objects and many more health hazards on the property. Protect yourself by preparing in the following ways.
- Wear a face mask to ensure you don’t breathe in dust, asbestos, fibreglass, or other harmful contaminants.
- Wear industrial protective gloves to protect yourself from cuts and hazardous substances.
- Wear waterproof clothing
- Buy a comprehensive first aid kit
- Enlist the help of as many people as possible
- Hire skips or a large van
In most cases, the stuff in a hoarder’s home is essentially worthless, meaning most of it needs to go straight to the local refuse centre. After that, you can either hire some skips and let the company take the rubbish away legally or take the waste away yourself in a van.
If you choose the van option, you may need a special licence from your local authority because local refuse centres charge for commercial services based on the size of the vehicle used. However, if you’re a resident, you can dispose of your rubbish for free — with the necessary permission.
Make a list of cleaning supplies.
There’s a good chance that areas of the property are filthy and have not been cleaned for years. As a result, you’re going to need a wide range of cleaning agents, as well as some special cleaning tools. Please make a list of everything you need, and gather it together before you start the clearout.
Empty the property
The emptying of a hoarder’s home is usually a painstaking process. You can’t simply pick stuff up and throw it straight into a skip or van. Instead, you have to sift through everything to ensure there’s nothing of monetary or sentimental value hiding beneath the mess. Organise a makeshift workforce accordingly, creating three piles, discard, unsure and retain, and don’t forget about recycling.
Once the home is empty, the hard work of cleaning begins. And this could be the most challenging task of all. If you want to sell the house quickly, you might hire professional cleaners for the job. Yes, you’ll pay a significant fee, but you’ll get professional results that might help you to entice more buyers.
You’ll have some difficult decisions to make, however. For example, are carpets, lino and wood flooring salvageable? Do you need to replace the flooring, repair walls or replace fixtures and fittings? Delay these decisions until you’ve cleaned the home as best you can.
Get the property ready for the market.
Once you’re happy that the home is clean and odour-free, you can start getting it ready for the market. Again, keep things as simple as possible. Go for neutral shades everywhere, and don’t spend a small fortune. Aim for reasonably priced flooring and wallcoverings, create a blank canvas for potential buyers, and leave your tastes and preferences at the door.