Review – Selling a Hoarder Home – The Ultimate Handbook For Realters

Author: Lynda Hykin

Independently Published

2022

ISBN #9798834548188

“Selling a Hoarder Home” is a compact (101 page) treatise addressing how realtors can address the issue of selling a home belonging to a hoarder. Above all, this is a peopling issue, not just a “What do I do with all of this stuff!” issue.

Dedicated to her mother, Hykin was led to write this book after dealing with her mother’s estate after her mother suffered a stroke and went into long-term care. It took three long months to go through her mother’s house, separating the treasures, from the keepsakes, from the trash. In this book, Hykin offers the tools and resources to make sound decisions at a time like this.

In the end, her mother’s home went from being a hoarder’s home to one that was ready to be sold at fair market value. That was a 360, and then some!

Hykin notes that moving or downsizing when dealing with a hoarder is difficult for the client, and difficult for the real estate agent. What is overwhelming to some people is a “safe zone” for the hoarder. It has taken years for them to accumulate all of the items in their home, and they may not want to let them go.

Of particular note is Hykin identifying hoarding as a mental disorder that needs to be dealt with. Hoarders can be anxious about throwing things away, indecisive about what to keep and what to give away/throw away.

Hykin offers chapters on preparing the home for sale, preparing the hoarder (and showing respect), allowing the client to feel in control, as well as what questions to ask.

There are black and white photos included that show before and after images of truly out-of-control hoarder homes that Hykin has worked with herself. Talk about overwhelming!

The second half of this book is a bonus! It addresses ways in which a realtor can deal with a non-hoarder that has simply accumulated a lifetime of stuff. She discusses our emotional attachment to things, and why they are so hard to let go of. Also that our possessions become extensions of ourselves.

Then there is the keep/toss/donate scenario. That is a difficult one. And a chapter on the top ten ways to declutter a house to sell. (I distinctly remember a house that I was looking at as a prospective buyer – I opened a hallway closet door to see how big the closet was, and stuff was jammed in there so tightly that it just started to fall out!) Hykin goes room by room, with the best way to deal with items in that room.

While this book is aimed at realtors, I find that it could help any of us decluttering a house (or a relative’s house). When we do so, it also declutters our lives.

(c) July 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without the written consent of the author.

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