Estate Dispersal, House Clearance & Hoarding

Drummond Read offer a comprehensive estate dispersal / house clearance service to suit individual requirements. Colin’s experience whilst at Sotheby's was primarily in the house sales department where he was involved with high net worth sales of complete contents including Somerhill Kent, Tulira Castle County Galway, Gargrave House Yorkshire, Papplewick Hall Nottinghamshire, Banham International Motor Museum Norfolk, as well as dealing with typical low value estates whilst running small provincial auction rooms. This has provided invaluable experience in the various issues arising with the sale of the contents of complete properties and the detail required to bring the instruction to a satisfactory conclusion.

Drummond Read work closely with others to provide an efficient and reliable service between a time constrained exchange and the completion.

Issues relating to clearance of a property can arise on which we can advise, including:

  • Logistical aspects relating to the property
  • Recycling and Waste disposal, with registered and licensed waste carriers
  • Working within restricted timescales

The scope of work can be wide ranging: from being asked to oversee and supervise the clearance of a one bedroom flat in Chelsea where the deceased, a hoarder, was known to have historical papers and photographs relating to the family history to advising and clearing of items from a large country house in Worcestershire. Here various members of the family were retaining selected items. These items also involved shipping, storing, restoration and insuring as well as advice on recommending an auction room to use for the remaining valuable items.


Drummond Read frequently works with trust departments of law firms, private clients departments and executors, where the owner has acquired and failed to discard large quantities of items, frequently with little or no value, but that require filtering for any valuable items.

Drummond Read have been asked by executors and also those with power of attorney to deal with chattels where the owner or the deceased had been suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder Syndrome, also known as ‘disposophobic syndrome’. This type of work involves both a sympathetic approach but also the clearance in a “military style” operation, not only with manpower to separate the disposable items from items of value, but often also incorporating other trades, such as vermin control and special cleaning.

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