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5 Tips For Cleaning Foreclosed Homes

_DN28878There’s More to Cleaning Foreclosed Homes Than Simply “Cleaning”

When properties are abandoned or neglected due to foreclosures, they can often become an eyesore and a threat to a community’s safety and overall stability. This is particularly true if a property is vacant. Properly cleaning foreclosed homes can eliminate this possibility.

The problems caused by vacant properties can range from the unsightly such as overgrown lawns, to mosquitoes breeding in stagnant swimming pools, to vandals stripping the homes for scrap metal and other valuable appliances and components. Worse, an empty house can invite squatters to take up residence and  have the risk of fire or other damage. And, unfortunately, in some areas it’s been the case that gangs use vacant properties for illegal activities.

As a real estate professional and a representative of a lender looking to sell a foreclosed home, cleaning and maintaining the property is a priority. But it is also a challenge for a busy Realtor.

Foreclosed Homes Are Not Going Away Anytime Soon It Seems

Because home foreclosures have continued to occur at unprecedented levels since 2008, the need for cleaning these homes has also grown.

Since September 2008, about 5.5 million homes have been lost to foreclosure across the country, and since home ownership rates peaked in early 2006, about 7 million homes have been foreclosed on. The annual foreclosure rates have been dropping over the last four years, however, as homes in some stage of foreclosure made up only 1.5% of all homes with a mortgage, the lowest foreclosure inventory level since March 2008.

But the monthly level of completed foreclosures remains above pre-crisis levels. And this aspect of the economy has created a need to clean and maintain these foreclosed properties.

Along With Cleaning, Foreclosed Homes Need TLC Inside and Out

One of the more costly actions that lenders and real estate agents of foreclosed properties must take is cleaning the properties. Because some prior residents leave in a hurry, or are angry for losing their home, they often leave large amounts of trash and sometimes damage to the interior.

Once the property is vacant, It isn’t simply a matter of showing the home to prospective buyers! Here is a short list of five things that will need to be done:

1. The first and possibly most important is the security and safety of the property. This can involve changing all the locks, securing windows and garage doors, and draining swimming pools. These actions will lessen the chance of vagrants making their inside the property or of someone getting hurt. In addition, if it appears that the foreclosure and sales process is going to be lengthy, there are other lender stipulations that must be followed, as well.

2. The next critical task is maintaining the outside appearance of the property. Keeping the exterior of the property clean and uncluttered helps maintain the property values of the immediate community. Keeping a regularly mowed lawn, maintaining any landscaping and ensuring that the yard is free of clutter not only ensures the safety of the place, it will greatly improve the chances of the property selling again. Determine what needs to be done first. Mowing, weed eating, and trimming will improve the appearance of the lawn. And because lenders are often in the foreclosure process for many months and must retain someone to care for the property and residence.

3. When cleaning a foreclosed property, consider what needs to be done beyond simply cleaning windows and carpets. Often there are abandoned vehicles that will need to be towed away. More likely, however, there will be piles of debris in the house, in the garage, or in the yard or storage sheds that will need to be hauled away. This is not a DIY project for a real estate professional. You should also repair any broken windows or blinds and keep the area facing the street neat and clean. Surprisingly for some, this is a very important part of the property preservation process, because it will discourage vandals and vagrants.

4. Winterizing a property is essential in many parts of the country. The task can involve shutting off all utilities such as the electricity, gas and water, unplugging all appliances and turning off electrical breakers. Pour antifreeze  made for recreational vehicles into toilets, drains and in the bottom of washing machines, dishwashers and any other appliance that uses water. Drain the pipes. Once the water is shut off, there will still be water left in the pipes which can freeze and damage the plumbing. Turn off the water main and then turn on every faucet and water fixture to drain the pipes. Flush toilets until they will not flush again. Remember to turn faucets back off after you drain the water. Otherwise, the house could flood once the water is turned back on! Wrap the pipes after you drain them. Any kind of insulation will work to keep the pipes warm enough to avoid cracking or bursting.

5. Finally, on the Inside, there can often be a great deal of cleaning that needs to be done. You may have to remove stained or torn carpets, repair broken tiles or lighting fixtures, and even bring in pest terminators. Because there is often large amounts of junk and debris left by the vacated prior residents, the help of a professional junk hauling firm is in order at this stage. Junk removal must occur before proper cleaning can be started, but once all of this work is finished, the lender can begin to show the property.

Cleaning Foreclosed Homes Means Only Saying “Goodbye” When It’s Sold

Repeated trips to the property are often required for lawn care and maintenance. Property preservation is almost certain to grow rapidly in the coming years, as more and more homes fall into foreclosure. Lenders need to realize the importance of these companies in keeping the foreclosed homes ready for sale.

Choosing the Right Company for Reliable Foreclosure Cleaning

Once you decide to outsource the trash removal part of your real estate deal, you need to determine which firm is the right one for the job. And while you can certainly find plenty of guys with trucks willing to do the job, choosing that alternative may end up costing you more than you hoped to save. This is why Junk King really is the firm of choice.

Junk King is the leading business to business junk removal service in North America and our real estate junk removal services take care of this cleanout process for you. It’s one big task off your to-do list and it’s a big step toward getting your property ready to sell or rent.

Speed, Reliability and Quality Service
We understand that as a real estate professional you need your homes to be pristine and you want to be able to list them as quickly as you can. We also understand that you appreciate hassle-free services and really can’t afford to have problems with a property. And your clients have enough to deal with when selling a home, so having the chore of junk removal handled by someone else is a huge bonus.

Junk King offers fast and friendly junk hauling with an emphasis on eco-friendly practices. We recycle or donate 60% or more of the junk we collect — including renovation debris, furniture and appliances, and even clothing and personal items. Real estate ventures can proudly call Junk King their green partner for real estate junk removal.

We are insured and offer post-escrow payment. Junk King handles junk removal services for real estate professionals across the U.S. and we are the highest rated service brand in the nation. You can depend on Junk King for speed, reliability and for the peace of mind that comes with getting your property ready fast.

Our team specializes in large waste removal and trash hauling. We can be on location in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.

One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle a much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at (707) 744-4254.