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Start a Professional Foreclosure Clean out Business

Updated on March 3, 2014

Tips for a professional cleaning recession proof business

Residential cleaning on Banked Owned Properties is needed for the rising inventory of homes in dire need of repair and maintenance.

Lenders Processing REO Properties

REO properties are part of the lender processing and mortgage industry that is seeing a growth in contracts for real estate services such as cleaning, maintenance and repair of abandoned vacant homes in foreclosure and pre-foreclosure.

It is no wonder that the large numberof mortgage field services, REO and property preservation companies can't manage the growing number of defaults. You have the opportunity to get on the vendor lists for doing lawn maintenance, painting, locksmith, inspection and window boarding.

Robo-Signing Lawsuit and Settlements

After the robo signing lawsuits reached a settlement with the banks and the attorney general the rush to push through defaults will increase rapidly with more foreclosure filings going to market.

First you will need a business plan and an outline of what your objectives will be for foreclosure cleaning. Next ask yourself some tough questions on why you want to start a cleaning business.

It is important to understand what it will take to get licensed and insured to handle foreclosure cleanup requests from Realtors, Mortgage companies, REO's.

Miami-Fort Lauderdale is worst performing housing markets
Miami-Fort Lauderdale is worst performing housing markets

America's best and worst performing housing markets

The Obama mortgage relief program has offered incentives to buy homes due to low interest rates.

At the same time the U.S. Median home values are down 9.9% below 2009 levels a popular real estate information marketplace reports that not all housing markets are struggling.

A small number of cities are experiencing a rise in home values, one such area is in affluent Weston Florida the list also includes Utica, New York, Morristown, Tennessee, and Penn Hills, Pennsylvania.

If you are in the business of cleaning out REO's and banked owned properties you will want to take a look at the areas that are showing the worse performance in Homestead Florida an area where there is low-income such as the Miami suburbs.

3 things you should know before you start a cleaning business in Utah

First you need to set up a website so you that a professional web presence online can be established right away, I know your probably thinking this will take too much time, but actually it is not that hard and the payoff is well worth the effort.

The Top 5 Cities for Foreclosures

  1. Homestead Miami, Florida
  2. Pontiac Detroit Michigan
  3. Trenton New Jersey
  4. Lehigh Acres, Fort Meyers Florida
  5. Altamonte Springs, Orlando Florida

Foreclosed Home Cleaning

Things people leave behind, it is such a drastic move when homeowners find that they can not pay their mortgage, when they go into default it may leave them desperate without hope some of the things left behind can be a childs toys or electronics, homework, and even important documents, anything of value will be held for a time until most of the belongings are taken to the dump.

Banked owned properties cleaning foreclosures

Is a business that has been on the rise and many have written e-books and how to manuals for those looking for a way to make money in a bad economy, but is these home foreclosure cleaning systems a scam or are they really giving you all the information that you will need to be successful in this growing industry?

Hauling and Demolition

Is a service where you have more than likely seen ads for foreclosure cleaning, clean out, clear out, painting repairs, REO Cleanup, Real Estate, cleanup, cleaning companies mentioned on 60 minutes and USA Today that will get you started with how to get into this type of work and the insurance and licensing required to clean bank owned homes.

Types of cleaning services you can offer banks and realtors who specialize in foreclosure properties.

Cleaning REO properties and abandoned homes for lenders and asset managers leave you many options as a small business you can expect to earn a six figure salary if you are willing to travel and meet certain contractual deadlines.

The number of foreclosures on the market today is high this lends an opportunity for those who want to make money and build an income for the long term.

Commercial cleaning companies can expand their business to include residential to offer assistance to property owners who need to sale a home after it has been cleaned and restored.

Some of the more popular areas that you can provide services for are: Helping "for sale by owner" persons who want to sale their home, they will need the white gove treatment which is cleaning done to improve the appearance of homes that have been sitting for long periods of time.

Window cleaning is another area that can be a big business for offices, apartments or vacation homes. It will require that your company keep the right kind of liablility insurance to cover any injuries faced on the job.

Pressure washing is another area that is needed by property owners, it is used to clean the outside of a building or the driveway. If you need to get equipment for your government contract jobs you can either buy it or rent it out.

To determine this start by finding out how much it is going to cost to finish the job when just starting out in your business you may want to look for used cleaning equipment at online auction sites.

Some of the types of cheap equipment you can find for your foreclosure business is lawn mowers, pressure washers, leaf blowers, and handyman tools

You will need a way to haul away the trash and debris and cleaning products to mop and sweep the floors, walls and garage. Check out sales at home improvement stores like Home depot

Foreclosure trash out business opportunity

Next every foreclosure clean out business needs a to have property liability insurance to cover any damages if any that might occur during cleaning a property, also a fidelity bond may be required to cover theft in case it happens among employees.

Lastly equipment and supplies need to have a storage place as well as proper safety supplies will ensure that you are able to complete each trash out clean out service effectively for asset management.

Since it is a booming business you have the opportunity to include in your business plan a way to provide your services just like locksmiths and board-up specialists, trash-out firms have benefited from the foreclosure crisis.

Some of the fees you can charge is anywhere from $600 to $1,500 for light landscaping, basic hauling and general cleanup, but some jobs cost upward of $7,000. Some homes are left in good condition, but plenty contain waist-high garbage and junk vehicles in yards.

It is recommended that you talk to professionals about the types of licenses and insurance required for your part of the country.

Cleaning foreclosures for a living what you need to get started

First off cleaning foreclosures is a recession proof business, you do not need any prior experience and there is little competition. You will want to be familiar with cleanups and cleanouts of Homes, Businesses, Foreclosures, Evictions, and Estates.

Cases show that some investors bought homes with no money down, rented them out, and skipped mortgage payments leaving renters surprised to learn that they're getting evicted because of the landlord's irresponsibility.
leaving homes left needing to be cleaned out and ready for resale.

Services Performed: -Meticulous indoor cleaning -Debris Removal - unwanted rubbish inside and out -Lock Changes -Minor Repairs -Mow, trim, and rake premises -Windows cleaning / pressure cleaning

Helping homeowners pay their mortgages, The Treasury will also expand refinancing efforts by government- chartered lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together own or guarantee about half of all US mortgages.

Make a list and keep a roster so you can follow-up with the contacts on a regular basis, they may not need work at the moment but things can always change for the better.

REO Banked owned property listing

The following is a list of banks and lenders that have REO properties, you can contact them to offer your services:

  • 21st Mortgage Corp
  • MobileHome REOs
  • AmSouth Bank
  • Bank serving South Eastern US, merged with Regions Financial Corp
  • Bank Of America
  • Beal Bank
  • BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust)
  • Reo Property in 23 states, mostly Eastern & Southern, Midwest, TX, & CO,
  • Bayview Financial REO
  • Reo Property mostly in SouthEast states, FL, AL, GA
  • Chase Bank Nationwide REOs
  • CitiMortgage Nationwide REOs
  • Compass Bank REO Properties in AL, AZ, CO, FL, NM, TX
  • Countrywide Home Loans Largest Nationwide Originator, thousands of REO properties
  • Downey Savings and Loan 325 listings in CA, 35 in AZ,
  • Fannie Mae Lots of REO property nationwide
  • Fidelity National Financial

You will want to make sure you contact the right division or department to send a email or mailing correspondence that showcases how your cleaning business can provide property preservation services to help maintain real estate property on a long term basis. Realtors will want to work with you if they can see that you will be able to get the jobs done in a reasonable turnaround.

Developers and investors will have properties that have been acquired by failed bank assets, due to the overwhelming workload you can position yourself as the first point of contact.

Cleaning Franchise Office Cleaning

Some forget about the big business of commercial foreclosures, you can start a business that cleans more than just houses.

In your local area you will find that business buildings need to have a crew to come and maintain recently abandoned retail, banking and corporate offices.

It may be easier to start a cleaning franchise that specializes in this type of real estate, such as with they help you earn money with commercial cleaning for starting your foreclosure cleaning business today.

Opportunities are for sale every day and usually the cost of entry is low enough to make a profit right away.

As far as house cleaning prices go it will differ from business cleaning prices. Most janitorial cleaning quotes start with the size of the building and how much debris needs to be removed.

The turnaround time may be a few days and if this is the case a dumpster rental as well as paying workers will make the total price to be much higher.

Services you can provide for your foreclosure cleaning business

Foreclosures in Utah are creating an economic boon for entrepreneurs, who want to start a business as brokers and investors require services to clean or trash-out homes seized by lenders. fix up a vandalized vacant home.

You will see windows were broken, doors were missing and holes were punched in the walls, you r company will be contracted out by lenders such as Fannie Mae to clean and secure them.

Nevada, California, and Arizona has been the fastest growing states in the home crisis resulting from the major housing boom. Starting your own company in Utah that specializes in removing whatever people leave behind in their foreclosed homes will be a profitable venture.

How to start a foreclosure trash out service

The process is called a trashout a term the company came up with because it perfectly describes what happens. Everything that’s left is dumped in a trailer and taken to the landfill. As you well know that banks use the term "property preservation" for clearing out and cleaning up foreclosed homes.

The types of Foreclosure Cleanup your business can offer can include such things as a Clear Out, Cleaning, Painting, Repairs, REO Cleanup, Real Estate Cleanup, Lawn Maintenance, Mowing, Atlanta, Debris, Hauling, BPO, Corporation.So that you can be competitive in an industry that is changing everyday.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image 

    8 years ago from Ft Washington

    Exceptional hub and even greater responses. I too have written about my experiences with forclosure clean ups / trash outs. This is quite on point for getting started in the business.

  • lizzybelle profile image


    9 years ago from New York

    Yes that's the bad part about this business waiting for payment, and sometimes the inspectors have to wait for their payment too, not all companies are able to "front" your pay for you.

  • profile image

    cleaner in Bama 

    9 years ago

    Good information. Makes some decisions easier.

  • eventsyoudesign profile image


    9 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

    Hey! My friend will love this article. She cleans homes. Not homes in foreclosure but she might want to think about this option. Thanks for another great article. Teresa

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Great information, what would be a typical startup cost, bear in mind that your crew has to be paid when their job is done.

    Where is the best place to find crew workers, I am thinking if they are already an established co many then their fees will be high.

  • profile image


    9 years ago


    OMG. Thank you so much for that scenerio on the cleanout service world. I am starting cleanout service, myself. I am all gung-ho and ready to get to work, but now your given me a whole new perspective that "one" HAS to consider. Thanks for you wise advice.

    But my question.... How (if possible) do you get part of your fees up front from the REO or bank? Is setting up a payment account at your bank something to be considered? Should you get the job done in stages or day and get paid after each stage or day of the clean out? What is the normal amount of wait time before getting paid?

  • profile image

    Daniel Jenner 

    9 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    So I hate to put a dark cloud over the whole "foreclosure cleaning business" but please take my bit of bad luck into consideration before you get started in this industry...

    Opened my business in 2009. Purchased my $1mil liability insurance, magnetic door signs, business cards, the whole bit.

    2 months in, I'm contacting everyone I can, with just a Facebook page for my business, and get a call to bid a BIG trash-out not far from where I live.

    I threw my bid out there, had NO clue how to turn a pile of garbage into pounds (to figure out my dumpster costs) but somehow or another my bid was accepted!

    6 days later we're done, I rented big equipment, filled 6 40-yard dumpsters, hired a cleaning company to remove all of the hazardous materials (over 200 gallons of oil) and paid a company to pick-up the 276 tires! I was over $4,500 into debt, just to cover the costs. Had some great friends willing to wait for the realtor to pay me before getting paid themselves.

    It took over a week to get the realtor to come do a walkthru once we were done. First sign things weren't right. He walked the yard, didn't even look inside the house. Second sign things weren't right. A week later, still no payment and he didn't even have a sign up at the house. Multiple calls, emails, etc. and I'm over 2 months past completion before I even HEAR from the guy!

    Meanwhile, my bills are past due, I've lost all of my credit at the rental shop, and my friends are ticked for not getting paid!

    Exactly 94 days after completion, I am in the process of putting a lien on the property, I've contacted the bank that owns the home, and I finally get paid. And since I didn't know HOW to bid, didn't factor in LATE FEES on my bid, I ended up making EXACTLY $217.43.

    BE CAREFUL. That's all that I can say. Not all realtors, asset managers, banks, etc. are honest. Do your research, get something in writing about the repayment schedule, and don't get into this thinking you'll get rich quick because it costs a lot of money up-front and you're almost always 30 days out before being repaid.

    Best wishes, I just thought someone needed to speak the reality of it. :)

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Hey everyone!!

    Im new to this foreclosure cleanout business, and have the slightest idea of exactly where to start.I have my first meeting with the SBA in Dec. to kind of get the jist of starting a business,but of course im listed as janitorial with my EIN...but my starting point was to get aquainted with the cleanouts before i go into other contracts.If someone have any ideas or suggestion on where to start as far as calling companies to introduce my service i would greatly appreciate it.

  • suzannao profile image


    9 years ago from Texas

    Very detailed hub! There are certainly a lot of foreclosures waiting to be cleaned!

  • profile image

    william janusczak 

    9 years ago

    this is a good time to start a clean out crew because both of my cousins uncles both started there own and ive been working with both of them for a little while and its a steady pace job but im also gonna be starting my own company in a few months its not hard once you learn but you may be like me and underbid a few jobs by mistakes thats what always messes me up =]

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    hi i just was woundering i here a lot of different things on how to get started can u just go get a buisness licence and start doing real estae clean outs or how does it work wat is the process i am really interested in starting it asap

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    hmmmmm, maybe a JUNK YARD

  • profile image

    Diane stevenson 

    10 years ago

    What happens if you are going into the forclosure clean up business. and you have junk cars and truck to haul off were do yo take them with no title. thank you Diane

  • profile image


    10 years ago from Charlotte, NC


    thanks for the great info nad the wonderful help on starting a business!!

    I found you hub page very useful and helpful!!

  • profile image


    10 years ago


  • profile image

    Jay Jay 

    10 years ago

    Need all the info anyone has to offer in foreclosure cleanout business.I am interesting in starting a cleanout business.Any help on insureances ,how to get started and how to bid will be greatly apprecitated.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    how much do you charge on a clean out??

    example a forclosed home that is 3200 sqfootage 5/bd 3 bath

    really dirty. how many ladys will you send out there, and for how many hours??

    how much do you charge the client?

    and how much do you pay the workers?

    IN Northern CA, Contra Costa area

    is $10 an hour fair?? or should I pay per job order?

  • Research Analyst profile imageAUTHOR

    Research Analyst 

    11 years ago

    Thanks Cassandra, our readers will find the information you provide very useful.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    First, do some basic research about the industry. Tons of free info online. We've put out several FREE articles on startup. Do a rough biz plan ... just for you, so you know "where you're going, and how to get there"... does NOT have to be 50 pages; the point is to sketch a plan for your business. Then, get yourself organized (emotionally, physically) to start your foreclosure cleanup business.

    Next, get the proper business license, business insurance and get your TAX ID number so you can pay Uncle Sam his fair share. From there, get your business cards and create your marketing material (fliers, car magnets, postcards -- go to places like Vista Print and other online printers), then start seeking clients.

    Here are a few ideas:

    a) Contact the acquiring institutions of failed banks. Go to the FDIC's website for the list of failed banks in your area and get the contact info for the acquiring banks and seek contracts directly that way. You need to be properly licensed and insured.

    b) Contact listing realtors that specialize in foreclosures (scour your local MLS -- multiple listing service -- and find those realtors with tons of super low-priced listings to start -- these are usually foreclosures). Many of them will have their own similar companies, but they will need overflow help in this market. And, once you establish a positive rapport and they use you a few times -- and you do WHAT you say you're going to do, WHEN you say you're going to do it, they will call you again.

    c) Contact larger "property preservation" companies... just GOOGLE them... usually these big companies will not be based in your city, but they will handle properties throughout U.S. Again, you must have your ducks in a row: proper license, insurance and proof of TAX ID.

    Good luck!

    Cassandra, Foreclosure Cleanup, LLC

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    Great ideas in your hub!!

    Thank you.

  • Research Analyst profile imageAUTHOR

    Research Analyst 

    11 years ago

    You can go through classifieds as well as realtors to find cleaning foreclosure type jobs.

  • JPSO138 profile image


    11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

    Very interesting concepts. Great hub!

  • profile image

    Frankie B. 

    11 years ago

    Research Analyst, would you be interested in being my partner in starting a foreclosure cleanout business in the south california/ long beach area. Or offering consultation for a fee. There are many homes in my area that need cleaning. I have the brawl ,but need ths brain.

  • profile image

    Erick Smart 

    11 years ago

    This is a business opportunity that is growing quickly. But those who start these need to have a long term plan which will take into consideration there will not always be this many foreclosures. That means that in the future they will need something else to clean or an all new business plan or even business.

  • Research Analyst profile imageAUTHOR

    Research Analyst 

    11 years ago

    Get a list of REO Asset management companies, banked owned and real estate and broker management firms so you can start your business opportunity cleaning foreclosures. Mortgage news daily has list of REO service providers.

  • Research Analyst profile imageAUTHOR

    Research Analyst 

    11 years ago

    Its true that now is the best time to offer a cleaning service since people are looking to offer cleaning services to the elderly, working parents and vacant properties.

  • BkCreative profile image


    11 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    Hmmm, cleaning services do well. A friend wanted to start a service and was having little luck - I suggested she advertise as using only 'green products' and she seems to be doing well now.

    Thanks for this food for thought. I think we are all looking for extra income and a business of our own.


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