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Cleaning Foreclosure Properties: How to Find Out What the Competition Is Charging

Updated on January 25, 2010

Advice on Pricing Foreclosure Cleaning Jobs

You may have to play detective a bit doing this, as most foreclosure cleaning business owners are not just going to come right out and tell you what they charge.

“Covertly” Finding out How to Price Your Foreclosure Cleaning Jobs

Go to the web and conduct a simple search for “foreclosure cleaning companies” or “cleaning foreclosure properties” in your area. Location is a critical factor in pricing foreclosure cleaning jobs, so don’t call a company in Las Vegas if you’re located in Florida.

Once you find a few, write them down and start making calls. Your script will sound something like this:

“Hi, I’m trying to get a quote for a on a foreclosure cleanup job. The property is a a 2-bedroom, 1 bath, 1,300-square foot ranch). There are some major appliances to be moved, an old refrigerator in the garage, some mattresses and a box spring, a bookcase and a few boxes of clothes. Can you give me an idea of how much a job like this would cost?”

As cleaning foreclosure properties is what they do and many foreclosure cleanup business will have handled jobs like this, many will give you a a quick quote right over the phone without asking any other questions.

Because of the details you’ve given about the nature of the work you need done, they’ll assume that you’re a realtor or investor. This is the best-case scenario.

In the worst-case scenario, they’ll ask you specific questions, ie, are you a realtor, are you an investor, are you the property owner?

What you do at this point depends on how comfortable you are carrying out this “covert” method of finding out how to price foreclosure cleaning jobs.

You can either come clean and say, “Hey, I’m new and I need some help with pricing jobs,” or you can fudge a bit and say something like, “I’m an investor.”

Is this sneaky and underhand? You betcha!

Does it work? You betcha!

A True Story

In business, the above is common practice; one I’ve used myself.

In the late 90s when I first opened my editorial staffing agency in New York, one of the ways I figured out what to bill clients per hour for temps was to call other staffing agencies and pretend that I needed a temp for the day, or for the week.

After calling three or four, I got a good idea of what staffing industry rates were. Based on this knowledge, I was then able to comfortably set my rates.

Following are some other ways to keep tabs on what other foreclosure cleanup companies in your area are doing.

Cleaning Foreclosure Properties: More Ways to Keep Tabs on the Competition

Check Their Marketing Material: Look at the ads they place, sign up for their newsletter, look at their website for new service offerings, or pick up one of their flyers.

Use Technology: Sign up for Google Alerts. Or, check the backlinks to their site ( Why would you want to do this? To see who and what types of companies are linking their site. This can lead to new advertising outlets for you.

Hire Them: This is an extreme example, but to really find out other cleaning foreclosure properties businesses operated, hire them to do a small job for you – something you may need done around your house that you haven’t gotten around to.

For example, clean out and haul junk away from your garage or basement. Some things you can observe when you hire your foreclosure cleaning “competition:”

Do they show up on time;

How they invoice;

Payment methods they accept;

Number of workers used;

Show up in uniforms or not;

Do they follow up after a job is complete;

How well the job is done; and

How long they take to complete the job.

This type of first-hand information is invaluable, for it tells you where you can possibly make improvements and/or offer ways to differentiate your cleaning foreclosure properties company from the competition.

Learn more about how to start a successful business cleaning foreclosure properties.

On the Frontlines of Foreclosure Cleanup


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