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I Inherited a Hoarder House… Now What?

If you’ve just inherited a hoarder house, you likely are going through a wide range of emotions. It’s a time where you’ll be experiencing loss and grief and the discovery that you have been left an entire home may be overwhelming. And if you have inherited a hoarder house you might be feeling stressed and intimidated as well.

If you have questions about what you need to do, you’re in luck. Here are some of the most common questions about inheriting a hoarder house and some information to help you navigate this time.

What Do I Do First After Inheriting a House?

The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and evaluate the situation. This might include seeing the property in person. When you first see the property, see if you can determine how severe the damage is without venturing too far inside. You’ll want to get an idea if it’s even safe to go inside before you start the cleanout process.

You will also want to check the exact terms of the will and consult a lawyer, especially if anything about inheritance or property ownership is new for you. These things can be complicated and have hidden nuances that can get confusing so an experienced lawyer is crucial to help you navigate legal documents, contracts, wills, and more.

Do I Need to Clean the Hoarder House?

The short answer is yes, you will have to clean out the hoarder house (be sure to check out our article on how to clean a hoarder’s house here…). But the amount that you need to clean might vary depending on your situation. If the hoarding situation was severe, you’ll likely need to do more cleaning to get rid of mold, pests, and anything else that has happened as a result of the hoarding.

Should I Throw Everything Away?

When you finally are beginning the process of cleaning out your house, you might find it tempting to simply gather everything into trash bags and throw it away. While that may be easier initially, you may miss out on retrieving important documents or items that you or other members of your family might find valuable. Some hoarders will keep expensive items such as jewelry tucked away in a place that may not seem obvious. To avoid getting rid of family heirlooms and the like, plan on sorting through everything in the house.

While this is a monumental task, breaking it up into rooms or even sections of rooms will make it easier. Make sure you have any protective equipment you might need such as gloves or masks and start sorting things into piles of things that you plan to donate and another for things you plan to sell. Everything else can be thrown.

There may be some cases where a hoarder house is unsafe to enter. If this is the situation you’re in, you might want to consider hiring a professional to assist or to simply take the property off your hands. Companies like ours buy properties as they are so you don’t have to worry about the cleaning or the repairing process.

Do I Have to Renovate the Hoarder House I Inherited After I Clean It?

While the exact answer may vary depending on your exact circumstances, the answer to this question is most likely yes. Many hoarder houses deal with problems that go beyond clutter including rodents, pests, structural damage from the weight of the items that have been hoarded, or other damage to the structure, appliances, or electrical system that may not have been too severe at first but grew worse as the problem was ignored. If you’re planning on selling the house or even renovating it and moving in, you’ll likely need to address at least a few significant home renovation projects aiming to repair the structural integrity of the place.

Is It Hard to Sell a Hoarder House After Inheriting It?

The honest answer is yes, you will likely find it challenging to sell a hoarder house even after it is cleaned. There are often severe structural damages and potential buyers may be aware of the history of the property, especially if you are located in a smaller town. You’ll likely have to spend a lot repairing and renovating the house before you even consider listing it for sale and may not be able to get the amount that you want for it.

Do I Need to Work With a Real Estate Agent When Selling a Hoarder’s Home?

If you are planning on fixing up the house and attempting to sell it, you will likely need to work with a real estate agent and even if you’re in a situation where it’s not entirely necessary, a real estate agent would be a huge asset to you during this time as they can help you navigate all the nuances that you might not be prepared for that come up during the process of dealing with a hoarder house you just inherited.

What if I Don’t Want to Deal With Any of This? Do I Have Options?

Second Mortgage Foreclosure


If you’d rather not spend too much time worrying about cleaning and repairing the hoarder house before listing it for sale, you can sell to a company like ours. At Pavel Buys Houses we buy property in the Massachusetts and offer a fair and fast process that leaves you with cash in hand.

When you sell directly to us, we ensure several benefits including but not limited to:

  • You’ll be presented with a fair cash offer that you’re under no obligation to say yes to.
  • You’ll be able to sell your house no matter what condition it’s in – when we say any condition, we mean it!
  • You can simply pack what you need and move – we will handle all the cleanouts that are required after the sale.
  • You won’t be responsible for any closing costs and fees – we handle that!
  • You’ll be able to eliminate the burden of owning a hoarder house and walk away with cash in hand to help you start a fresh chapter in your life

In addition, at Pavel Buys Houses, we believe in transparency and integrity. We know that inheriting a home can be difficult in even the best situations and we aim to make your situation easier instead of adding to your stress.

To get started, simply fill out the contact form on our site or give us a call at 781-309-7085.

More hoarder related resources:

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