How to Sell a Hoarder House New York
Investing in real estate is one of the ways to build wealth and carve a path to financial freedom. You can buy it today, hold it for a few years, and sell it later when its value has appreciated. Or, you can turn a New York real estate property into a rental and enjoy a steady cash flow.
But what if you end up with a New York tenant who suddenly turned your beloved rental into a hoarding house? What if you inherited a house from a family member, only to find that it is bursting at the seams with trash you could smell from across the street?
How do you deal? Could you even sell it? Who would want to buy a hoarder home?
This is a nightmare for homeowners! It's totally understandable if you're overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Fortunately, there are solutions to every problem. And in this guide, we'll give you effective tips in selling a hoarder house.
What is a Hoarder House New York?
You've probably heard about the term "hoarder house" from the hit A&E TV Show, Hoarders.
A New York hoarder house is a property that has been overfilled by its homeowner or tenant with excessive personal items and debris due to difficulty in discarding them. The tremendous amount of clutter can make the house unsafe to live in. With overabundance of different materials inside the home, it is a fire hazard in itself and the local building department can condemn the hoarder house. There are even some cases where the occupant is literally buried alive underneath all their accumulated junk and garbage.
This tendency to over accumulate possessions is caused by a mental health issue called a hoarding disorder.
What is a Hoarding Disorder New York?
Approximately 1 in 50 people are afflicted with a hoarding disorder. It is classified as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association and is characterized by compulsively and excessively acquiring random items, resulting in extreme clutter populating every square foot of the home that the hoarder has difficulty getting around.
Individuals with hoarding disorder find it difficult to part with possessions due to a perceived need of saving them for future use. These possessions can be anything: animals, newspapers, boxes, clothing, magazines--not restricted to valuable items. They hold a sentimental value to the hoarder, and thinking about giving up any of these can cause them great stress. Hoarder homes often have dangerous living conditions, and it is up to family members to stage an intervention .
In a worst case scenario, people can die from living in New York hoarded homes.
So You're Suddenly Left With a Hoarder House... Now What New York?
Hire Professionals to Do a Deep Cleaning
Cleaning up a hoarder's home is a colossal task akin to one of the Labors of Hercules when he cleaned up the Augean stables.
While it is possible to ask family and friends for help, it is recommended that you get a professional New York cleaning crew to undertake the backbreaking work of hauling out years (or sometimes decades) of accumulated junk. Piles of trash in hoarder houses often reach up to the ceiling, and merely venturing inside without the proper gear and training can be a threat to life and limb.
The cost of cleanup for hoarder houses can vary widely and depends on a lot of factors, namely:
- the size of the house;
- the type and amount of material that needs to be taken out (i.e. if junk has taken over an entire house);
- the time it takes to complete the cleaning;
- presence of hazardous materials such as mold, mildew, medical wastes, human and animal wastes, dead animals, and decomposing food;
- fire hazards such as papers, flammable liquids, and explosives;
- possible physical hazards such as sharp edges, rusted steel, broken glass;
- location of the property; and, in extreme cases,
- unattended death from living in a hoarder house.
You can expect to spend an average of $2 per square foot for the cleaning and hauling of garbage and debris.
Check for Any Other Issues
Hoarder homes are very unlikely to have kept up with maintenance. Once all the garbage has been hauled out, there's no telling what you might be in for.
Some things that will be uncovered include:
The structural framing of the New York house likely sustained damage arising from years of neglect. Floors, ceilings, and walls may have rotted underneath those piles of garbage, so an inspection may be in order to determine the extent of the structural repairs that need to be done.
Stacks of garbage can be a breeding ground for rodents and other pests. All of the clutter can also hide a problem such as a termite infestation which likely won't be discovered until it has spiraled out of control.
Call pest control as soon as possible after all the trash has been hauled out.
All that rot and general uncleanness can provide a conducive environment for mold growth. You'll have to contact mold remediation professionals to remove this health hazard in New York.
There might also be lead paint or asbestos present, especially if it's an older house, so you may need to contact other professionals to address these.
Biological and medical wastes
Used diapers, tampons, needles, animal and human feces, and sometimes even dead animals, can be considered a biohazard and require proper handling.
Dealing with a New York hoarder house can be disheartening enough, but with a sewage backup, it would seem that the nightmare is compounded.
If the house has a failed septic system, expect to shell out more money to bring it up to standard.
Fix All the Issues You Have Discovered
Next would be finding a reputable contractor to undertake the necessary repairs, upgrades, and renovations.
Ideally, get quotes from at least 3 contractors so you can establish a basis, then award the project according to their experience in dealing with fixing up hoarder homes or other New York property with extensive problems.
Prepare the Home for Sale
After spending thousands in cleanup and repairs, the former ugly and stinky duckling hoarder house is now a swan in respectable shape. It would be a shame to stop there. The goal is to make the former hoarder home look and feel as move-in ready as possible to entice potential buyers.
You can hire a staging crew to make the New York home visually appealing. Do some basic yard work and add some greeneries to the front lawn to boost curb appeal.
While you're at it, you can consider getting a real estate photographer in order to showcase the home's best features. Professionally taken photos along with a detailed and compelling description in your listing would attract a wide pool of prospective buyers.
Options in Selling a Hoarder's House New York
Selling New York property is challenging enough, but when selling a hoarder house, you have a couple of hoops to jump through before you'll be able to list it on the open market and reach the widest pool of potential buyers. Just keep in mind that with time and with the help of professionals, it can surely be done.
Before putting the hoarding house up for sale, you must establish your goal: sell for top dollar; or sell the house fast.
Let's go over each scenario:
Scenario #1: "I want to sell for the most money with a real estate agent."
It would be very difficult to find licensed real estate agents to sell a hoarder home as is. Selling a New York hoarder house is typically not in their arsenal. They won't be able to conduct an open house with the house in such a state, and buyers would be scared off if they see that it is a hoarder house in the listing. Furthermore, financed home buyers aren't likely to get their mortgage approved if they're purchasing a problem property such as a hoarder house.
If you wish to sell a hoarder house for the most money with real estate agents, you'd have to put in the work first--or at the very least, money first. There are local New York real estate agents that offer concierge services, meaning they assist buyers and sellers with their real estate needs such as finding contractors who can handle all the work needed to make the home move-in ready. All you have to do is connect with a real estate agent and tell them what you need.
As they say, "There is no free lunch," so what's the catch for this convenience?
You'll have to pay their commissions, averaging 6% of the sales price, split between each of the buyer's and seller's real estate agent. This is on top of the upfront investment you're required to make in getting the house back into a respectable shape.
If this sounds too much, then, you can just decide that...
Scenario #2: "I want to sell my hoarder house fast with a cash buyer."
Hoarder houses are fraught with major problems. Not everyone has the capacity to deal with them. You may have time constraints or lack the money to fund the cleanup and repairs, so you're wondering if you could still sell the house with everything left unchanged.
In this case, your best bet for a cost effective solution is to find a cash buyer and sell the New York house, trash and all. You don't have to worry about hiring a cleaning crew to get rid of the junk or getting a contractor to take care of the necessary repairs.
Real estate investors are not your typical home buyers. They are house flippers and cash home buyer companies who seek out and purchase property in varying degrees of distress, including a hoarder's house! They have the ability to see past a home's current condition and visualize its future potential.
An added bonus when selling a hoarder house to a real estate investor is they have the money ready to back up their cash offer. They don't have to wait around for financing, or for a previous property to be sold.
However, like in the scenario above, there is a catch to this quick and efficient sale.
For the convenience of offloading a trouble property as is, you must compensate the New York buyer for the work that they need to do in transforming the house back to its former glory. Thus, expect to sell for below market value.
But hey, the hoarder house is no longer yours to deal with, and you walk away with cash from the sale. It's a win for everyone, right?
Can You Sell a Hoarder House if It's Occupied New York?
Selling a hoarder's house while it is occupied is possible, but it is not an easy task.
The New York home sale process would most likely cause emotional turmoil for the occupant so you must be able to handle it gently and sensitively. Since hoarding is a mental illness, trying to reason with the sufferer is ineffective and will only be met with resistance. What they need is professional help in order to overcome this disorder.
In this situation, you can find a cash buyer who can provide a leaseback after the sale so the occupant can continue living in the property for a while as they undergo treatment and gently ease them out into a new life.
Final Thoughts: How to Sell a Hoarder House New York
Selling New York hoarder houses can be tough, but armed with the right information provided in this guide, we hope you'd be able to make the right decision suited for the situation you're in.
If you're looking to sell as is for cash, look no further! Here at House Buyer Network, we buy houses in absolutely any condition. There's nothing to be ashamed of--we've been in the business long enough to have seen it all. We don't judge. Let us deal with your hoarder house as is, we'll clean it out and fix whatever structural issues it may have, so you can walk away from your problem property and have a fresh start.
By filling out our form below with your property address, email, and phone number, we'll instantly connect you with a cash home buyer for a quick no obligation cash offer for your home.
Got questions? You can call us at (855) 835-2544 and we'd love to answer any questions you may have.