Clearing an Unfamiliar House
Posted on 17 September 2016
It’s perhaps a pretty obscure situation but it does definitely happen, and not just in the movies. Having to clear the house of somebody you didn’t know or a house you’ve never been in before and take responsibility for everything inside could happen to you. Imagine the scene; you’re just living your life and getting on with it when you get a call from a solicitor to say that your 2nd cousin has just passed away and by some strange loophole – they left their house and possessions to the oldest man that still has the family name for example – you are now the proud owner of a small run down cottage in the country. Obscure but not unrealistic. Right?
Unless you want to uproot your life and move into this alien house, which you might want to do, then the obvious alternative is clearing it ready to be sold. This can feel like an extremely daunting task and you can absolutely just get a house clearance to do it all for you. However, some will have policies about the state of the houses they clear and some just take everything from the house and offer their services for free if they can sell anything from the house clearance. The slightly tricky thing about this is that your house clearance company could make a fortune from your house and though you don’t lose anything it’s got to be frustrating to have a potential fortune slip through your fingers.
The first thing you do should be a simple house visit. If possible, it would be worth being accompanied by the solicitor or person that told you the house now belonged to you. They’ll be helpful in telling you all they know about the bizarre situation you find yourself in and any extra information must be helpful.
If you didn’t really know the owner of the house you’ve inherited then try and find out what you can about them because it might be worth knowing what they considered to be valuable to them and if there are any secrets about the house (secret rooms, alarm codes etc.) that it’s necessary for you to know. Also, people who were closer to the deceased than you might want to know that their house is being cleared and sold. There could be things in and around the house that they might want to keep or at least advise you on where certain things should be sent. It’s an obvious point but try to be a little wary of people you don’t know – they might not always have squeaky clean intentions.
On your house visit, don’t be afraid of really poking around and familiarising yourself with every inch of the property and its contents. After all, they belong to you now. Even if you are hoping for a really speedy sale, it makes sense to really know the property because any questions the house clearers have, or any other professionals you get in might have, you become the first port of call. It would serve you well to actually have some answers.
Lastly, cast a cursory eye over the actual contents of the house. Anything that really appeals, personally or because of its potential value now belongs to you. Relish the perks of this situation. There surely won’t be many like it in the future.