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Foreclosed Homes for Sale: 3 Types of Cleaning Services Banks and Realtors Need

Updated on February 16, 2010

Cleaning foreclosed homes is one of the many small business opportunities brought on by the foreclosure crisis. And, as the real estate market has been flooded with a lot of properties that sit for months, and in some cases well over a year, this remains an excellent small business to start.

As with any new business, the best way to get clients is to fill a need. Those who fill urgent needs get more business. While every property is different, there are some types of services that many foreclosed homes for sale need. Following are three. And, those who own various types of cleaning businesses are perfectly situated to handle these jobs.

Foreclosure Cleaning Services to Offer Those Who Have Foreclosed Homes for Sale

Window Cleaning: Window cleaning is a much-desired service because many cleaning companies don’t do windows. Why? Because they either don’t have the skill, equipment or insurance to do so. This is particularly true when it comes cleaning windows from the outside and/or those that are high up (eg, on second or third stories of homes).

Windows of this height require ladders. And, they require professionals accustomed to working on ladders. Because of this, many companies that will take on the internal cleaning foreclosed homes for sale need won’t bother to bid on the outside cleaning. Many can’t. Why?

The biggest reason is insurance. Because of the inherent danger of working on ladders, banks, realtors and others who are readying foreclosed homes for sale look for legitimate companies who have the right type of insurance. A “man with a van” type service won’t cut it. You need to be a viable business with the proper licensing and insurance because the vast majority of lender and realtors won’t hire contractors who don't have the proper business licensing and insurance.

If your foreclosure cleaning/cleaning company has it, you can snag a lot of work.

Pressure Washing: This is another service that requires someone who knows what they’re doing; it requires experience. Too much water pressure or the wrong cleaning solution can peel the paint right off a house; or put a whole through its vinyl siding, or discolor brick. You have to know what you’re doing to avoid all of this.

And, this is also a task that requires proper insurance because of the dangers of climbing ladders, just like in window cleaning.

So here again, lenders and realtors with foreclosed homes for sale that need some type of cleaning look for professional companies – with the proper licensing and insurance -- to contract with.

White-Glove Cleaning: Many foreclosure cleaning companies offer what's known as a "broom swept" clean. This is barely surface cleaning. What it is is just removing the debris and maybe, just maybe, giving the floor onceover with a broom.

However, when a realtor or banker is getting a home that has been foreclosed on in market shape (ie, ready to be viewed by the public for sale), they want and need a white glove cleaning.

This is particularly true in the current real estate market because homes are sitting empty for so long, and there’s so much inventory on the market. It’s a buyer’s market and they have so much to choose from that a home has to be in tip-top shape to attract eligible buyers. This starts with a thorough, white-glove clean.

The longer foreclosed homes for sale sit vacant, the more dust, dirt and other “unclean” elements it attracts (eg, vermin). Hence, sellers of these types of properties are scrambling to find qualified help -- with all the right paperwork in place (eg, insurance, business license) -- to get these cleaning jobs done.

If you own a foreclosure cleaning business, or another type of cleaning service, you can make foreclosure cleaning one of your prime target niches, especially if you have your paperwork in order (and make sure prospects know that).

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