Did you know that hoarding is a mental disorder that can affect anyone? Lots of folks ask what is hoarding? Hoarding is a serious mental health problem that affects an estimated one in 25 adults.
Maximum Real Estate Exposure covers all the major symptoms of hoarding and breaks it down into five levels.
Hoarding has become such a fascinating topic that there has been a television show made on the subject called “Hoarders.”
A hoarding disorder is a mental health condition in which an individual accumulates possessions to the point where they interfere with everyday life. People who hoard often have difficulty parting with belongings, even if they no longer use them or they no longer serve a purpose.
Personal belongings often accumulate in unorganized piles, which can lead to a messy house or property filled with clutter.
Many of these personal items are of no real value and will clutter rooms, leaving little space to get from room to room. Hoarding can get so bad that it creates hazards to living in a property.
These properties are known as hoarder houses. Here, we will look at everything that real estate professionals need to know about hoarding houses and the mental affliction of hoarding.
What is hoarding?
There is a clear correlation between hoarding and mental illness, with hoarders often suffering from anxiety or depression. People who hoard tend to acquire an excessive quantity of possessions, which can lead to negative health consequences.
Hoarding is a chronic disorder that can be difficult to overcome. People who hoard often struggle to get rid of their belongings, which can lead to health and safety risks.
Hoarders fill their houses with everything including magazines, newspapers, food, clothing, books, furniture and even animals.
What mental disorder is present with a hoarder?
The following are some of the symptoms of hoarding:
- The accumulation of bulky or unsightly items
- The collection of objects that are not necessary for the individual’s daily life
- The obsession with acquiring or keeping possessions to an excessive degree
- The inability to discard possessions even if they are no longer needed
What causes hoarding?
There is no single cause for hoarding. However, some possible causes of hoarding include:
- A personality disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- A history of trauma or abuse
- A mental illness, such as depression or anxiety
- A neurological disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder
Real estate agents can become involved with hoarder homes
If you have been in the business long enough, you will eventually encounter a hoarder house that you will either list for sale or bring a buyer to view.
When you work as a listing agent trying to sell a hoarder home, you will need to find out the goals of the client.
Given that the hoarder may not have the ability to deal with the situation, a family member is often involved.
You’ll need to find out if the goal is to maximize the value or to sell the home quickly as-is. Once this is determined, you will be able to form a plan of action.
Getting the most money for the property will entail extensive clean-up. Cleaning professionals and junk removal experts are often involved.
When the property is sold as-is, it will likely be purchased by a real estate investor or building contractor who pays cash for the home. Mortgage lender financing is often challenging if the property is in complete disrepair, which many are.
When there is financial distress, some homeowners may need to liquidate the property immediately. When becoming involved with hoarder houses, it is essential to ask these questions from day one.
Hoarding is a serious mental disorder that can have serious effects on an individual and their loved ones. It is important to learn about hoarding so that we can help those affected.
Some hoarder houses are so bad that they have become unhealthy to live in. At the first signs of hoarding, it is essential for family members to take action.
As grotesque as it may sound, there have been numerous cases where hoarders have died in their homes due to the unhealthy nature of the property. Hoarding is a serious illness that should not be downplayed.
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 35 years. Bill is the owner and founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. For the past decade, he has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England.