Being a Realtor involves a wide variety of tasks. Chief among these are pre-listing activities, listing appointment presentations, and marketing the listings. A real estate professional is competent and expert at a great many things related directly and indirectly to buying and selling homes - but cleaning out foreclosed homes filled junk, trash, and abandoned furniture shouldn't be one of them!
Cleaning Out Foreclosed Homes Is Not Your Job!
There are many things you have to do for your clients as Realtor, and for your own business needs as a real estate professional. Cleaning out vacant homes is not on the list. But the reality is that it is a task that needs to be done. And the numbers of vacant properties are still large.
The good news is that the worst of the housing crisis is past. Generally speaking, foreclosures are down, prices are up, and inventory is tight, but increasing. All of this can mean a great deal of potential business for Realtors and real estate agents. But the bad news is that the actual number of vacant foreclosed properties is still high, and there are still more coming on to the market every day in many communities.
Real Estate Markets With The Lowest Number of Vacant Properties
According to a report by RealtyTrac in October 2015:
“The overall inventory of homes in the foreclosure process has dropped 36 percent over the past year so it’s not too surprising to see a similarly dramatic drop in vacant zombie foreclosures,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “What is surprising is there are so many vacant homes where the homeowners do not appear to be in financial distress — with only 3 percent in foreclosure or bank owned, and only 6 percent that are underwater. More than 63 percent of these vacant homes are not even encumbered by a loan, owned free and clear by the owner. The fact that the homeowners are not selling given the recovering real estate market in most areas indicates that many of these properties are in poor condition and in neighborhoods that have been left behind by the housing recovery.”
That being said, there are still over 20,000 residential properties in the foreclosure process, but not yet repossessed by the foreclosing lender. In addition, according to the 2015 third quarter numbers from RealtyTrac, vacant residential properties in the foreclosure process accounted for 1.3 percent of all vacant U.S. residential properties, with bank-owned homes (REO) accounting for another 1.9 percent of all vacant 1 properties.
Where Are Most of the Vacant Foreclosures?
- The states with the most vacant foreclosures were New Jersey (3,997), Florida (3,512), New York (3,365), Illinois (1,187) and Ohio (1,028).
- The states with the highest share of vacant foreclosures as a percentage of total vacant properties were New Jersey (9.4 percent), New York (8.2 percent), Nevada (2.7 percent), Massachusetts (2.5 percent), and Illinois (2.1 percent).
- Only six states posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosures, including Massachusetts (up 66 percent) and New Jersey (up 29 percent).
- Among metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 total residential properties, those with the most vacant foreclosures were New York (3,531), Philadelphia (1,610), Chicago (989), Tampa (984), and Miami (866).
Despite the fact that foreclosures are decreasing across the U.S. in general, there are still areas that are not keeping with this trend. Among the 147 metro areas with at least 100,000 total residential properties, there were 21 that had a year-over-year increase in vacant foreclosures, including Boston (up 61 percent), Worcester, Massachusetts (up 43 percent), St. Louis (up 16 percent), Philadelphia (up 15 percent), and Trenton, New Jersey (up 11 percent).
(Image courtesy of RealtyTrac)
What Does All This Mean for Real Estate Professionals?
The unfortunate reality in most foreclosure situations is the need for major clean up.
Experience has shown that former homeowners have little or no incentive to leave their foreclosed home in salable condition when they leave the property. In fact, most foreclosed properties are often found with trash and abandoned furniture and other property that the previous homeowners failed to remove.
Foreclosed homes need a lot of preparation before they are ready for an open house. Many Realtors and banks with a large inventory of properties find themselves with a need to hire a foreclosure cleanout business. Typically, this includes hauling away old furniture, appliances, unwanted items and other debris that was left behind.
Because of the complex and time-sensitive nature of REO, short sale and foreclosure transactions, banks often need cleaners on short notice and the clean out work needs to be completed with a strict turn-around time-frame. Oftentimes, foreclosed properties require a lot of work before they are in selling condition.
Getting to the Sale by Getting a Foreclosure Cleanout
Many foreclosed homes are usually sold in an “as-is” condition which means the foreclosing institution doesn’t make any major repairs. But a good real estate professional knows that it is still necessary to clean out the property prior to staging it for an open house and subsequent sale.
And because of the nature of the work involved, really good professionals know that it is strategic and cost-effective to outsource the work to a professional foreclosure cleanout service like Junk King.
A professional firm will offer a number of services to protect and preserve your collateral throughout the period of the foreclosure process and up to the sale of property. They understand the needs of Realtors and real estate professionals and are knowledgeable of investor/insurer guidelines in order to ensure that all work is completed in accordance with the applicable specifications.
Cleaning Out Foreclosed Homes The Easy Way
The saying that “time is money” is founded in a fiscal reality. Paying someone to clean up a property, put it all in a rental truck, then take it to a landfill – if possible – to dump it for a fee, then clean out the truck, and return it to the rental site can take a great deal of time.
In fact, depending on the size of the job and the amount of debris, it can run upwards to half a day or more. And one of the cardinal rules of smart realty business is to never spend more money than you have to prior to a sale. Let's say you decide to hire someone to do the work and you end up paying a laborer, say, $20 an hour.
So an eight-hour clean up job not only costs you over $150 in labor costs – plus gas, mileage, and dumping fees – but it also costs hours of your own productivity lost while you research, organize, take care of the rental and rental return, and so on. Altogether, this task can cost well over $300 just to get rid of the trash!
And this isn’t even taking into consideration any over-sized appliances or furniture that will require more than one person to haul out and remove.
Choosing the Right Company for Reliable Foreclosure Cleanout
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.