Clearing houses is an arduous process which is why most people opt for a professional house clearance service instead of doing it themselves.
Some situations you might use house cleaners are to rent or sell a property, prior to renovation or extensions, or during the probate process after a relative dies. The entire house can be cleared, or just one room, a basement, garage, outhouse, etc.
Many house clearance services work as part of auction houses which allows them to sell valuable items on and pass savings or even profits on. They will take a commission from the sales as well as charging upfront fees but this makes the entire process much more economical.
This article will cover the cost of house clearance services, factors that affect the cost and other common questions surrounding house clearance services.
Average Cost of a House Clearance Service
House clearance costs vary widely depending on the size of the space, the number of items that need to be cleared and what types of items they are.
The more bulky, heavy or hard-to-recycle or dispose of items there are, the more expensive it’ll be. Items such as fridges, freezers and electronic goods can be expensive to throw away.
Many house clearance companies work in partnership with auction houses and some are offered in partnership with charities, such as the British Heart Foundation’s house clearance service and Age UK’s house clearance service.
By compiling quotes from 11 house removal services and house clearance providers in the UK, we found these average prices for house clearance:
|All-in Cost of Clearing an Entire Average-Sized 3-Bed House||£500 to £1000|
|Specialist House Clearance For Hoarders or Difficult Jobs||£1000 to £2000+|
The specific cost of removing certain items can be found below:
|Costs of Removing and Disposing of Large Items||£30 to £50 per item|
|Costs of Recycling||£100 to £200 per ¼ van load|
|Recycling Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) (e.g. kettles, irons, radios, etc)||£50 per 10 items|
Beware of Cowboy House Clearance Services
Beware of cowboy house clearance services – if they fly-tip the rubbish and it can be traced back to you then you are liable to fines of a maximum of £50,000, or even a prison sentence.
To combat house clearance horror stories the unofficial House Clearance Association has compiled a list of house clearance contractors that hold full, current, public liability insurance and a license issued by the Environment Agency.
Always look for a house clearance service with a proven local track record and reputation. Proof of disposal is always advised, meaning the company provides you with photographic evidence of disposal or a written receipt from a recycler confirming what items have been delivered to them.
What is a House Clearance?
House clearance involves the removal of household items from an entire house, from individual rooms or other interior space.
House clearance is often confused with decluttering, but they are different. Decluttering involves removing just items that are deemed ‘clutter’, i.e. unneeded items that needlessly crowd a space. Declutterers are also known as ‘home organisers’.
Contrastingly, house clearance is a more heavy-duty, intensive approach to clearing a house that skips the interior design side of things.
House clearance is commonly required after the bereavement of a relative, during the probate process. Once a family has sorted through possessions themselves, they’ll often get a home clearance company to clear away all of the things they don’t want or need.
House Clearance vs Decluttering
House clearance is a more routine clearance of items that are not needed. An example might be clearing a furnished house purchased from auction, clearing a house after rental tenants have occupied it, before sale, or after bereavement.
It might also be an idea to clear out a garage space, or an outbuilding that hasn’t been used for many years. Hoarders might use a house clearance service to help them clear and clean their homes for resale or other reasons.
House clearance does not typically include the same ‘consultancy’ of a decluttering service – house clearers are there to simply remove unwanted items.
Here is a comparison of house clearance vs decluttering services.
|Clears homes of unwanted items?||Yes, the whole house can be cleared including large items||Yes, but usually only of smaller items|
|Can unwanted items be sold or auctioned?||Yes, eligible items can be recycled. Valuable items can be sold at an auction and the profits passed on.||Sometimes, it depends on the declutter. Items can be kept and sold. Some will offer to sell them on your behalf. This is organised on a case-by-case basis.|
|Items can be recycled or taken to a charity shop?||Yes, suitable items can be taken to a charity shop. Items can be recycled at an additional cost.||Yes, suitable items can be taken to a charity shop. Items can be recycled at an additional cost.|
|Suitable for larger items such as sofas, fridges and freezers?||Yes, but additional costs will be incurred on such items.||Not usually|
|Includes interior design advice or consultancy?||Not usually||Yes, declutterers are often also home organisers or even interior designers.|
|Offers other services, e.g. home life and organisation life coaching?||No||Yes, many declutterers provide a holistic service or consultancy on how to organise a home for lower stress and anxiety.|
|Suitable for single rooms?||Yes||Yes|
|Specialists in bereavement house clearance or probate?||Yes, many house clearance services specialise in these areas.||No|
House Clearance for Hoarders
House clearance services are also geared up to deal with hoarding and homes that have slipped into dilapidation and decline through inoccupancy.
Some house clearance services are specialists in working with those with hoarding disorder, which is a psychological or mental health condition that sees someone acquire and keep vast quantities of items at the detriment of their mental and physical wellbeing.
Hoarding disorder is remarkably common – specialist clearance services will sign confidentiality agreements to keep the person’s identity private. Some can also provide specialist help and advice.
In some cases, house clearance jobs may require specific health and safety conditions to be met, e.g. the use of breathing equipment and protective outerwear.
Can My Cleared Items Be Sold?
Yes, auction houses that provide house clearance services will identify items suitable for auction. They’ll sell any eligible items at their auction and pass on the profits to you. It’s a win-win because the auction house will still charge upfront costs, and will take a commission, but the proceeds of the sales will still knock some money off the price of the clearance.
If the items are worth enough then you could be in profit from the entire process, e.g. if the house has some expensive antiques or art that can be sold. This is the advantage of consulting with an auctioneer during the clearance service – you might even uncover some ‘cash in the attic’ that you wouldn’t be otherwise aware of.
Auctioneer house clearance services will hold a consultancy at the home prior to the clearance taking place. It’ll be your responsibility to ensure the right items go to auction, but the whole process is usually transparent and pleasant enough.
How Does House Clearance Work?
House clearance shouldn’t take longer than 1 day, unless a home is particularly large with a full loft, garage, etc.
The general house clearance process involves:
It’s important to prepare for home clearance by separating items you know you want to keep or aren’t yet sure of whether or not you want to throw them away. Safely box these up and remove them from the area so they aren’t accidentally cleared. Earmark any potentially valuable items that you believe should go to auction.
Attend the Clearance Session
It’s obviously vital that you attend the session. The clearers might uncover items you weren’t aware of, for example. You’ll also be able to discuss which items can/can’t go to auction. Try and confirm any possible resale values.
If you’re using a local auction-house company then they’ll give you a date of when they’re selling your items. You can attend the auction if you wish. They’ll give you a cut of what’s made, usually around 75% to 80%.
Get Pricing on House Clearance Services Near You
We’ve done our best to give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay for a house clearance.
However, our guides are not a substitute for a fixed quote specifically for you.
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