How To Sell A Hoarder House (Quick Guide)

Dealing with a hoarded property can feel like an overwhelming, even insurmountable challenge.

You may have inherited the house from a loved one who struggled with a hoarding disorder. Or perhaps you purchased a property only to discover it was a hoarder's nightmare inside.

Either way, you're faced with mountains of clutter and belongings strewn throughout the home.

Now the good news is that you have multiple options for selling a hoarded house - even ones in the worst condition ever.

In this guide, I'll break down everything you need to know about how to sell a hoarder house.

What Is A Hoarder House?

A hoarder house is a home that a homeowner has filled with an excessive amount of belongings.


The clutter can get so bad that you can't even walk through the rooms, and sometimes, the exits are blocked. All this clutter can lead to unsanitary conditions that are a health risk.

Hoarder houses are the result of a mental health condition – hoarding disorder.

People with this condition feel compelled to collect things and find it extremely hard to throw anything away. And they keep on collecting and live like this for a very long time.

Problems In A Hoarder House

Inheriting a hoarded house can be a real mess! Here's what you might be facing:

And there are a lot of other things.

You have to take care of all of these before you list the house. Cleaning and repairing a hoarded home is an extensive process!

How To Sell A Hoarded House

Here are the 3 ways I recommend selling your hoarder house:

#1 Selling To An Investor (The Easy Way)

One of the simplest routes you can take is selling the hoarded house to a cash buyer.

This way, you don't have to worry about doing any cleaning, repairs, or renovations yourself.

Investors are typically willing to purchase properties exactly as they are, piles of clutter and all.

The great things about this option are that the sale happens quickly (in as little as 7 days!), you avoid closing costs, realtor fees, and there aren't any surprises waiting for you.

But keep in mind, investors buy at a discounted price since they'll have to put in work to get the home in sellable shape again.

#2 The "Wholetail" Approach

You can also go the "wholetail" route - this means getting the property fully cleaned out and then listing it for sale on the regular real estate market without making any big renovations upfront.

Also Read: Should I renovate my house?

Doing it this way allows you to get the highest sales price for the home's current condition.

But you'll need to arrange and pay for a full cleaning service to remove all the hoarded belongings and clutter first, or do it yourself.

Once that's done, you can put it on the market with a real estate agent.

While this nets you more money than an investor sale, you do have those cleaning costs upfront plus potential inspection fees and realtor commissions to pay.

#3 Renovating And Reselling

Your third option is renovating and making improvements before reselling the property.

Just like the "wholetail" approach, you start by cleaning out all the hoarded items and dealing with any hazardous messes or structural issues uncovered.

But then you invest in upgrades like fresh paint, new flooring, remodeled kitchens and baths, system repairs, etc.

Doing a full renovation means you can potentially get the highest sales price in the end.

However, it requires a major upfront investment and there's a risk of over-improving the home beyond what buyers are willing to pay for that neighborhood.

Also Read: Selling Distressed Homes At Auctions

Considerations And Tips For Selling A Hoarder House

Before you go ahead and plan the sale, here are a few things to consider:

Assess Property Condition

Before you do anything, go and take a good hard look at the property's overall condition and decide which selling option will work best for your situation.

Tips For Selling A Hoarder House

Walk through the entire home and make notes about the extent of the hoarding, any potential biohazards like animal waste, structural damage, and the general state of repair and age of major components like the roof, HVAC, etc.

This assessment will help guide you towards the best selling approach.

You could also get help from experienced realtors, cleaning services, contractors, or even hoarding specialists.

Budgeting For The Unexpected

If you are going to clean the house, you need to be prepared for unexpected costs to pop up.

Hoarded homes often reveal hidden issues once all the stuff is cleared out.

Water damage, mold, pest infestations, and other problems can remain undetected until the clutter is removed.

It's wise to have a contingency fund set aside, perhaps 10-20% of your projected costs, to handle any surprises during the sale process.

Dealing With Personal Belongings

Another major aspect is dealing with any valuable personal belongings or important papers that might be buried in the clutter.

Take your time carefully sorting through everything - you don't want to accidentally trash something irreplaceable like jewelry, antiques, cash, or important documents.

Consider getting family members or professionals involved if needed.

Make sure nothing significant gets missed or thrown away!

What Does It Cost To Clean Up A Hoarder Home?

The cost to clean up a hoarder house depends on a few and the state you live in.

However, the typical cost falls between $3,000 to $8,000, with a starting point of roughly $3 per square foot of the affected space.

This is just a baseline, and the price can easily go much higher depending on the situation.

Due to the unique nature of each hoarder situation, professional cleaning companies often assess the property firsthand before providing an accurate quote.