Real NEastate: Should we fix up a hoarder’s house to sell it?

Q: My mother-in-law recently passed away and my husband has to sell her house in East Torresdale. She was a hoarder, and it will be costly to remove her things. Because of the hoarding, the house is a disaster and might need to be gutted and redone, which will be even more costly. Should we just sell as-is or spend our time and money fixing it up?

A: If you and your husband are financially able to do anything before selling this home, at least attempt a clean-out. Only then can you make an assessment of the damage, if any, and updating that’s necessary. Once everything is removed, it will be easier for you and your husband to decide whether or not it’s cost effective to fix it up or sell it as-is.  You will take a hit on the value if you sell it as-is. But if you are planning on working on it, do your research before attempting a rehab on the property. Find out:

  1. How much work needs to be done?
  2. How much will it all cost?
  3. How much time it will take?
  4. How much is her home worth?

It is also important to know one problem that comes with hoarding is mold growth. Mold assessment and mold remediation may be necessary whether you are planning on working on the home or selling the home. If you are planning on selling the home as-is you would still need to disclose what you know to potential buyers.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal