Hoarding affects between 700,000 and 1.4 million people in the country according to this Psychcentral Article. Families who have to move someone out of a home packed full of belongings can be facing a task that is stressful, overwhelming and time consuming. The need to remove the contents of a pack rat home often comes up due to a difficult time in their lives - after losing a loved one or moving them into an assisted living facility.
A lot of estate liquidators will walk away from the task of sorting and liquidating a pack rat or hoarder home. These circumstances require more work, planning and attention than the average estate, often tremendously more. The labor involved is costly. The physical risks and potential hazards are also of concern to companies considering a job like this one.
At Expert Estates we recognize that these families are often the ones who need us the most. A family might look at years or decades of this accumulation and consider it all junk, often a dumpster is set up or truckloads are filled for charities. It can take a family weeks or even months trying to sort out the property inside the home. Many families don't have the time or resources to invest in getting the home cleared out. But it must be done somehow.
A team of professionals can turn things around. Depending on how much trash has to be hauled away and the condition of the remaining items, the sale of items in the home can entirely, or almost entirely cover the expense of cleaning out the home. The primary goal is to efficiently get the home ready to rent, or sell for most families. If relatives have other jobs, the work involved can be impossible given other obligations.
Our last estate sale in Santa Clarita was a perfect example. The before and after pictures are astounding. Given the labor and time involved many liquidators just advertise the estate as a picker's sale, open up a home as this and invite dealers and brave members of the public to come pull out what they want. When faced with a job like this one, at Expert Estates, we do the work of uncovering the treasures, removing the trash and putting everything back together for a true estate sale. That way the family can be proud of what is there when we open the doors and we can ask for the best possible price at the event. Most importantly, we minimize the loss of the best assets due to outright theft that occurs in a picker's sale.
The before pictures are exactly how the home looked at our initial walk through. We planned a clean out phase first for the family, during this phase, we try to save as much as we can. We do not throw away any property that could potentially be sold. This makes for a packed sale but it also brings in the best result. After all, you can donate or trash leftovers as needed at the end, why throw away anything someone might buy?
Once the items that are strictly trash are removed, our team tackles these jobs one category at a time and room by room. We knew this sale had tons of clothes (many of them were bagged and boxed up during our consult making an assessment of their condition difficult at the time), so we unpacked and hung them. They were mostly never worn and new with tags, and they were not out dated. Next, we sorted and displayed the shoes, crafting and sewing notions, office supplies, collectibles and kitchenware. The end result was an estate sale that was a hit with our customers. People shopped and then sent their friends over, and we had 56% repeat customers on the final day of our sale. Our facebook photo album had almost 1500 views. Plus we had 1,656 online views from our ad on a popular estate sale listing website.
The end results were a successful sale, happy shoppers leaving us positive feedback about what great deals they were getting and how much they bought, and most importantly, a client who said our team did an "incredible job." The photos below are the after set of the very same home. It is almost unbelievable when you know what the starting point was.
If you are dealing with a similar situation, don't hesitate to book a call.