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Selling a Hoarder’s House in Florida Doesn’t Have to be Gross

Selling a Hoarder's House in Florida Doesn't Have to be Gross

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Home is where the heart is, but sometimes home is where the junk is. The term “hoarder’s house” invokes an unlivable, chaotic mess of a place that makes your stomach turn. It’s a sad and depressing situation for anyone to live in, and it happens all too commonly in Florida and around the United States. 

If you’ve inherited a home that belonged to someone who struggled with hoarding, then it probably feels overwhelming. The sheer amount of stuff to deal with can be tremendous, in addition to everything that’s necessary to sell an inherited home under normal circumstances.

Once you do decide to sell a hoarder house, you’ll have to figure out how to get through it without feeling either physically grossed out or emotionally disgusted. Selling a hoarder house in Florida doesn’t mean you have to tackle it all yourself.

The decision to sell a hoarder house

Packing up a hoarder's house in Florida

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When an inherited house in Florida has major problems, like needing structural repairs or being a hoarder house, it can make it seem impossible to sell it. If you’re the new owner, you might think that you can’t sell a hoarder house quickly, if you can sell it at all.

For many people who become unexpected owners of a hoarder house, they feel like they have to take it all on themselves. It’s a misconception that prospective buyers won’t buy a hoarder house fast. In fact, real estate investors welcome hoarding houses in Florida. Licensed real estate agents can also work with you to help you sell a hoarder house as is.

It’s not just the hoarder’s house

A hoarder house that’s been left to you holds a lot of stuff, but it also holds a lot of stress for the family members who have to deal with what’s left behind.

The emotional turmoil that comes with losing a loved one is a lot to deal with already. Hoarder homes in Florida have a massive added layer to the emotional challenges because they leave homeowners with trash, items pile up, and potentially a house unsafe to live in.

Selling a hoarder house without taking the time to go through everything can leave you wondering if you’ve missed valuable family heirlooms or other items that you’d like to keep. It’s complicated, and it’s important that you work with a real estate agent or real estate investor that appreciates that it’s not just the hoarder’s house itself that makes it hard.

Hoarding disorder

Woman packing up papers from a hoarder's house in Florida

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Though there’s a great deal of shame associated with hoarder houses, and to get to this point almost involves someone struggling with a mental disorder. Hoarding is an outgrowth of anxiety and depression, but it’s a recognized disorder by the APA on its own. 

When a person has a long term, persistent problem parting with their possessions because of a compulsive attachment to them, they can become a hoarder. There’s a frenetic push for them to hold onto their stuff. Getting rid of even the smallest things can make them spiral into a panicked and distraught state. 

They don’t hold onto these things because of an inherent value in the objects, but because of an emotional inability to part with them. 

Over time, a hoarder can create such a compacted living space that a home is filled to the brim with only narrow paths to allow people to go from one place to another. Every surface is piled high with stuff. This can start with objects that are thoughtful and reasonable, like clothing or papers, but eventually can transition to trash and cross over into dangerous living conditions

Not just the hoarder’s house itself

Hoarding can spread outside the home. Sometimes hoarders become so consumed with their stuff that it starts to collect in the yard and in outbuildings. 

If you’ve inherited a hoarder home in Florida, then you could be dealing with objects filling the home itself as well as objects filling other spaces like the shed, garage, storage buildings, and even just sitting in the yard.

When you want to sell a hoarder’s house in Florida, you’ll likely have to contend with layers upon layers of stuff not just inside the house, but outside as well. 

Necessary resources for a hoarder’s home

If you decide to try to clear out a hoarder’s home before you put it on the open market, you still don’t have to deal with all of the worst problems of the house.

It’s worth it to reach out to friends and family members first to find out if anyone is in the Florida area and can come help you sift through what’s inside. Keep in mind, you don’t have to go through everything in the home.

A cleaning service is an essential resource for dealing with a hoarder home. Another essential resource is a haul away company. These services come to hoarder houses and take away the stuff that’s inside.

Often, junk removal services come at a low cost or are free. If you’ve inherited a hoarder house, you also have the option of putting up a free yard sale online to let people come and take everything out.

A strategy for a hoarder house in Florida

Woman cleaning a Florida hoarder's house

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One good strategy is to take some interior photos, then walk away and go look at them when you aren’t in the midst of the mess. This will let you break down what kinds of items are in the house, what fire hazards there are if any, and even to look back at any possible structural issues that could be visible.

Taking photos will help you to tease out the emotional and physical reaction you have to the space while you’re in it. This is an easy task that you can do. It’ll also give you a resource that you can share with others who might work on the house with you.

You can split the process into stages. There’s the initial cleaning that has to happen, then there’s the process of going through the stuff itself.

If you hire a cleaning crew to take care of the deep cleaning, you can then choose to go through the stuff in the house before selling a hoarder house. A cleaning crew in Jacksonville or Tampa, FL can help you with the worst parts of the process.

  • animal feces removal
  • kitchen cleanout
  • garbage removal
  • bathroom scrubbing

Hiring professionals to help you do the dirty work is not just about perceived need, it’s an important step that will help with the sale of a hoarder house. Getting out from under a burdensome home that is causing emotional and financial distress is important for everyone’s wellbeing.

From cluttered to dangerous

A hoarder house can unfortunately cross from being full to being so filthy that it’s a health hazard to those who enter it.

The air quality inside could have deteriorated to the point that the hoarder home requires a mask to go inside. Holes in the floor from rotted wood or water damaged structural points can cause accidents. There’s also the risk of the piles of stuff falling down on someone who enters hoarder houses.

Hoarder property in FL can become a danger if there are structural problems that are hidden beneath the layers and layers of stuff. The sheer weight of the stuff inside can cause buckling of floor boards and warping of walls.

In many cases, it can cost more money for homeowners to repair and salvage a hoarder house than they will make from the sale of it. Deciding whether it’s worth your time to make necessary repairs to bring houses like this up to code before selling is a hard call.

Hoarded homes that have crossed into being dangerous, whether from being abandoned or from being lived in a brutal state, have to have repairs before they can be lived in again. The question is whether you want to make those repairs yourself, or if you want to sell the hoarder house and move on.

Years in the making

Abandoned hoarder's house in Florida

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Homeowners who are struggling to find a way to sell a hoarder house through real estate agents or real estate investors should start with making a plan. Whether this starts with cleaning the house and getting it fixed before you try selling a hoarder house in Florida, or if you dispense with the hoarder house as is by selling it to a cash buyer with no obligation from you, you deserve to get out from under the property.

A hoarder’s home can be sold just like any other property, but it’s all about finding the right potential buyers who know what they’re taking on and are willing to deal with the home as is. You can also opt to take care of the hoarded home’s issues yourself, but if you have time constraints or life pressures that require you to get out from under the house quickly, you can sell a hoarder house as is.

It took many years for a harder house to become so jam packed and full of commonly hoarded items, but that doesn’t mean that you have to hold onto it for years. Let someone else like a real estate agent or a real estate investor help you to take on this huge problem so that you can move on.

Brett Riggins

Brett Riggins

Founder of Connect Home Buyers Brett Riggins started his real estate journey after graduating from Western Michigan University in Construction Engineering. After completing his first few residential flips, him and his wife Arin started Connect Home Buyers LLC, and today, they help homeowners sell their property quick and hassle-free.

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