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How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup-Property Preservation Business

Did you know that it takes an average of 18 months for foreclosed property to be sold to a new household? That 18 months of time where the house is sitting vacant. A lot of things can happen to a house in 18 months. That is why most institutions that owned properties that they foreclosed upon will hire people to preserve the property and secure it so that it can be sold.

If you want to know how to start a closure cleanup property preservation business, then the first thing you need to do is take a look at the demographics of your region. Most preservation specialists have a large enough region that they may need to travel more than 500 miles in a day. If there are a lot of foreclosures in your area, then there is a good chance that extra property preservation specialists will be required. This is where starting a new business in this industry can become a profitable idea almost immediately.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

The only thing that you really need in order to get started with this kind of business are your two hands and two feet. Most businesses like this are independent contractors. Using your own name, you accept contracts from businesses that have foreclosed properties and then fulfill the instructions on that contract. Based on what you need to do, there may be special supplies or tools that are required to properly preserve the foreclosure.

Property preservation goes beyond basic home security. When winter rolls around, your job will be to help winterize the foreclosed property and clean it as necessary. This might mean flushing the pipes with anti-freeze, sealing off the toilets, or capping gas lines that are open. It could also mean fulfilling specific tasks that are designed to keep any visitor to the property safe during the visit. This means you might be asked to remove nails, install gate locks, or even fill in holes in the backyard.

Property preservation happens in every type of weather. It doesn’t matter if there is 6 feet of snow on the ground or 6 inches of ice on the streets. Your job is to make sure that the foreclosed property is as safe as it possibly can be. Sometimes this job can be very tough, but it can also be very rewarding.

What Kind of Skills Should You Have?

You will need to have a wide variety of home-improvement skills in order to successfully run a foreclosure cleanup and property preservation business. Building codes for foreclosures require that handrails be installed on steps that are a certain size or a certain depth. This would mean that you’d need to build the handrail as part of the property preservation process and then install it. You might also be asked to fix broken windows, remove old appliances, tear out old carpeting, or even fix landscaping issues that could provide a hazard to a visitor.

In order to receive compensation for the work that you have done, you will need to provide proof of work. In property preservation, this is done in two ways: you will need to submit digital photographs of the work you have completed and the home must be able to pass an inspection. Once you note that a home has been completed and the contract obligations have been fulfilled, the institution that owns the foreclosure will send out an inspector to verify the pictures you have sent. If the inspector finds problems with your work, you will have to return to the property without additional compensation to fix it.

What Equipment Is Needed For a Successful Experience?

The biggest cost in starting a foreclosure cleanup property preservation business will be in the amount of supplies that you need. You will need a full range of tools because you never know what circumstances will be faced at a property. You may need to cut down a tree, build three handrails, or extensively clean a three-story home that has been carpeted. The more tools that you have on hand to start a job, then the better and faster you will be when it comes time to complete that job.

You are also going to need some portable equipment, such as a generator or a portable heater. There is no power at most foreclosed homes, which means that you need to supply a power source in order to effectively clean and secure the property. Because it can get extremely cold inside a foreclosed property, having portable heat can help you work more effectively and more comfortably so that a job can be completed more quickly.

Although this seems like a disadvantage at first, it really is not. Most jurisdictions do not require a business license to have this kind of business. This is because you will be a sole proprietor who is acting as an independent contractor. Even if you hire others to work with your business, if you hire them as independent contractors, then you can still be a sole proprietor and not need to file independent taxes as a business.

Are You Ready to Get Started Today?

If you love working with tools and you have some construction experience, then becoming a foreclosure cleanup and property preservation specialist could be the perfect business opportunity for you. It allows you to work on your own, earn what you’re worth, and have fun building things that can actually make a difference for someone in the future.

Because a home can be vacant for an average of 18 months, it is not uncommon for multiple contracts to be sent to preservation specialist for similar tasks. You might be asked to winterize the same house, for example, next year as you were this year. As you grow more familiar with your territory, you will get to know the homes that are vacant and be able to prepare for tasks that you may be asked to complete.

This kind of business is not for everyone, but it could be perfect for you if you meet these criteria. Look at your region to see how many foreclosures might be available and then talk with the institutions that hold the foreclosures to see if they could use some help in cleaning and preserving their properties so that the highest resale value can be obtained.

About The Author
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