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Make Money Completing Foreclosure Cleanup Property Inspections

As a foreclosure cleanup business owner, are you thinking of adding property inspections to your foreclosure cleanup business' list of services? If so, know this can be a very lucrative aspect of your business.

There are generally five types of property inspections as it relates to property preservation: Occupancy Inspections, Initial Vacant Property Inspections, Vacant Property Inspections, Voluntary Pre-Conveyance Inspections and Eviction Inspections.

Payment for inspections varies based on the type of inspection you've been hired to do, and, of course, based on who's giving you the work. (We speak about inspections in detail in the Foreclosure Cleanup Pricing Guide.)

Below is HUD's nationwide payment schedule for property inspections as somewhat of a guide (figures primary contractors often use):

--Occupancy Inspections (Exterior): $20

--Initial Vacant Property Inspection (Addt'l Units): $30

--Vacant Property Inspection (On-going): $30

--Vacant Property Inspection (On-going/Addt'l Units): $25

--Occupancy Inspection (Addt'l Units): $10

--Initial Vacant Property Inspection (Interior): $35

For example purposes, let's say you've been hired to do Occupancy Inspections (Exterior) by a larger property preservation company. You will simply be going by to basically verify whether or not the home is occupied and you will check off certain boxes on a form. See HUD's inspection form and consider using a variation thereof as a sample form in your foreclosure cleanup business.

Some property preservation companies sub out this work to companies like yours for what may seem like a measly $10 bucks per house. BUT, BUT, BUT, when you get an order for 1,200 homes, and the homes have to be inspected on an ongoing basis ... well, do the math: $10 x 1,200 = $12,000 for one round ... you'd need help -- and you'd get sick of your car.

Bulk orders are great, but, if you don't have help lined up just in case, you may be in trouble.

Case in Point: I met a gentleman a while back who was inspecting one of my rental properties (my bank had closed up and the FDIC had taken over the assets; I saw someone snooping around the property with a camera one day and I accosted him and questioned him ... nice exchange when we found out we were both in the business). He'd just gotten a contract for 1,200 homes, but was being paid $35 per inspection (likely because there was no middle man). Nice contract to have!

He had a "deer in headlights" look because he was a small company and simply seemed in shock at the amount of work he'd gotten, so quickly.

Think carefully about adding inspections to your cache of services. If you get a call for inspections on five homes, you may decide it's not worth your while, but, if they are calling you for the initial inspections, they will likely need you to bid on the work (boarding, lock changing, yard work, etc.) and that first five could lead to hundreds more. I included the link to HUD's inspection form above so you could have a peek.

Many property preservation companies will either have their own inspection forms (all properties aren't HUD properties), or will tell you to submit info on your form. The HUD form at the above link will give you a good idea of what an inspection form should look like should you have to create your own. Notice on HUD's form (at the bottom) the form can be used for several different types of inspections, which is kind of handy.

Good luck out there performing inspections. As with every aspect of this business, be careful and take someone with you should you perform especially interior inspections.

Continued success out there on the front lines of the foreclosure cleanup industry!

NOTE: Throughout the web and in real estate industry literature/publications, you may see the terms mortgage field services, property preservation business, foreclosure cleanup, foreclosure cleaning, foreclosure clean-outs, foreclosure clean, clean foreclosures, cleaning foreclosures, REO trashout, REO trashouts, field asset services, property field services, field service, and field services used interchangeable. The main thing to remember is foreclosure cleaning and foreclosure cleanup generally refer to smaller entities; while property preservation generally refers to larger entities/businesses.

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Article by Cassandra Black, Author of How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup Business and several foreclosure cleanup industry Guides, Reports and Forms. Sign up as a Premium Newsletter Subscriber. You will periodically receive foreclosure clean-up job leads and consultative advice to help you grow your foreclosure cleanup business!

For more industry information, visit the foreclosure cleanup blog and the foreclosure cleaning newsletter archive.

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