Hoarding in your home is a sign of a serious psychological disorder. People who suffer from hoarding disorder feel extreme distress at the thought of ridding themselves of these items in their home, even if they’re impacting his or her quality of life. Many homeowners feel it’s impossible to sell your house as a hoarder and that the damage is too severe.

While it may be true there’s a lot of work to be done, it’s not impossible to sell your house as a hoarder. A lot of it comes down to taking the right steps to prepare the house before placing it on the market. Here are tips for what to do before selling your home or that of a loved one who is a hoarder.

1. Seek Treatment First

First and foremost, hoarding disorder is a serious mental condition. According to SpareFoot, this disorder affects up to 7% of the American population. That means this isn’t all that uncommon, and it is treatable with assistance from a mental health professional. 

If you’re helping a loved one sell their home, recognize that hoarding is a real disorder. These things they’ve collected carry real emotional attachments, no matter how insignificant they may appear. Compassion is a necessary part of the process, so don’t talk down on their disorder. 

It’s important to be honest without being disrespectful. Most hoarders are aware they have a problem, and they’re just unsure of the first steps to seek treatment. Before the home can be sold, mental health intervention is necessary. Contact qualified mental health professionals in your area for more information on how to reclaim control over hoarding disorder. 

2. Hire Cleaning Professionals

Once you or your loved one receives treatment from a professional, it’s time to enlist the help of a cleaning crew. Hoarding homes are often too much for any small group of unqualified people to handle. Before the home can be put on the market, it needs to be cleaned and restored. 

Many cleaning companies have experience cleaning hoarding homes and spaces, and they can help uncover any structural problems that might have been overlooked. Don’t opt for your traditional cleaning crew. Look for one well versed in hoarder’s homes to make sure they understand the importance of slow, compassionate cleaning. 

3. Store Necessary Items

Those suffering from hoarding disorder often are unable to part with many of their belongings even with the help of a skilled cleaning crew. They cannot be pushed or threatened into making decisions about them, and this can slow down the cleaning process.

One option is to consider storage until the selling process is over. If you or your loved one is having a difficult time parting with belongings, a mobile storage unit or nearby self-storage might be a good temporary solution. With continued psychological treatment, it will become easier to say goodbye to unnecessary belongings. 

4. Prepare for Damage

Hoarding homes have often been in disarray for months or even years. This can result in a lot of structural damage like mold, infestations, or electrical issues. Until all of the items are removed, it won’t be easy to know just how much damage is done. 

Be upfront with both the homeowner and potential buyers about damaged. Let them know the property may need extensive work done to restore it to working condition. A good option is to encourage buyers to visualize how the property will look once renovated, and this can be done with a renovation idea plan. 

5. Look for Home Flippers

It might be more effective to search for home buyers who are willing to purchase the property as-is and flip the home. These home flippers are experienced investors who are used to fixing homes to their full potential. 

These home flippers are likely to be more comfortable touring the home with possessions inside which can be less of a hassle. However, consider using an agent to show the home to flippers so the homeowner won’t face any embarrassment about the state of his or her property. 

Landing the Sale

If you or your loved one is a hoarder, don’t feel like you have no options when it comes to selling your home. It’s possible to sell your home in a timely manner as long as you’re willing and able to seek treatment and make compromises. 

As you can see above, there is an extensive process that needs to be done before you put your home on the market, so don’t delay. Work with your real estate agent to create a plan for cleaning your house, identifying damage, and finding the right buyer.