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How to Price Foreclosure Trashout & Debris Removal Jobs Using the Pickup Truck Capacity Rule


In a foreclosure cleaning business / REO trash out business, you will need to know how to charge for debris removal services to make a profit. Many trashout and debris removal jobs can be priced using the pickup truck capacity rule.

In a foreclosure cleanup business / REO trash out business, the services you offer can be wide and varied. As a new business owner, you can offer everything from debris removal, cleaning, lawn maintenance, cleaning gutters, pressure washing, interior cleanup, painting, winterizing, boarding windows and doors, changing locks, property inspections, and more.

Much of your work will consist of trashouts -- removing interior and exterior debris from a home. You will need to know how to charge for debris removal services to make a profit. Many trashout and debris removal jobs can be priced using the pickup truck capacity rule. The pickup capacity rule means you'll be pricing by the truckload.

Find Out What Your Competitors Charge Per Load

If you call around, you can find out what your competitors are charging per load, but make sure you're getting the size of their "truck" when you get the price per load. Is one load for your competitor based on a 4'x6' compact pickup truck or is it based on a 5'x8' full size bed? Call a few places and see what they say. The larger junk removers tend to charge by the load.

You can use the pricing formulas of companies like the large well-known junk haulers as a "starting point" to set your company's prices; or call other competitors in your area, and then, set your prices competitively.

Sample Pricing from a Large Junk Hauler

Here's sample pricing from a larger junk hauler that services cities throughout the U.S. (please see below). Note the sample pricing is based on the Atlanta, GA area:

Truckload -- Price

Minimum Load Charge: $100

1/8 Truckload -- $134

1/6 Truckload -- $174

1/4 Truckload -- $204

1/3 Truckload -- $234

3/8 Truckload -- $269

1/2 Truckload -- $299

5/8 Truckload -- $334

2/3 Truckload -- $374

3/4 Truckload -- $408

5/6 Truckload -- $443

7/8 Truckload -- $473

Full Load -- $498

NOTE: Truck Size: This company uses a steel box on the back of their trucks. The measurements: 10 feet long, 8 feet wide, 5 feet high.

Who is Your Client?

Remember to take into account who your foreclosure cleanup client is on a particular bid, whether or not it's a HUD home, what you need to make on the foreclosure cleaning job, what your company's markup percentage is, etc.

Truckload Pricing is a "Win-Win!"

In debris removal, pricing by the truckload is really a win-win. Why? Because if it turns out the client has more junk and debris than you realized when you wrote the original estimate, a standard clause in your foreclosure cleanup debris removal estimate will protect you.

Trashout Contract Clause to Protect You

For example, if someone uses the house as a dumping ground between the time you bid on the job and the time you actually start the trashout job, you will be fine if you, as a matter of course, ADD this clause to your foreclosure cleanup trashout bid or contract: "As of the date of this bid, there appear to be four (4) truckloads (filling to bed-top capacity), based on a 5x8 full-size pickup truck bed. Estimate will change accordingly on day of job if more than four (4) truckloads of debris, as outlined above, are encountered."

That way, when you actually get ready to do the job, you don't have to worry about finding more stuff at the property; it will mean more money for you.

Find full details on how to price foreclosure cleanup jobs, including cleaning, painting, lawn maintenance, and more in the Pricing Guide for Foreclosure Cleaning & Real-Estate Service Businesses: How to Price Jobs for Profit.

Good luck with your foreclosure cleaning business.

NOTE: Throughout the internet and in real estate industry literature, you may see the names 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 companies.

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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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