What is Property Preservation?
Property preservation involves the securing, protecting, and preparing of properties for sale that have undergone foreclosure, default, or are in bank-owned status. The financial hardships that cause these unfortunate situations leave prior homeowners unhappy about losing their homes. As a result, many of these homes are left in poor and sometimes unmarketable conditions.
Securing of a Property
- Locks (door knobs and/or deadbolts) are changed according to lender requirements or by abiding by applicable regulations.
- Padlocks, slide bolts and/or hasps may be installed to accompany lock change if required for complete property security.
- Lock boxes are typically installed with an assigned code unless already provided by realtor. Lock boxes secure keys to the property to allow third party access
- Board-ups are completed to secure windows, doors, and entry ways that allow easy access into the property. Applicable guidelines for security are followed based on the size of entry way.
- Swimming pool areas - swimming pool areas are secured according to appropriate guideline requirements.
- Personal property – items that are considered personal properties (ex. televisions, computers, items in good condition, etc) are typically stored in a storage for a period of 30 – 90 days depending on lender requirements. Personal items that are not claimed within this period are either sold at a sheriff’s sale/auction, auctioned, or dispensed.
- Debris – debris are removed based on lender/insurer/client instructions. Debris are removed and counted based on cubic yards. Lenders typically charge based on this count.
- Hazard material(s) – hazard materials are removed based on lender/insurer/client instructions. The dumping of hazard material MUST be followed according to city/county codes. Illegal dumping of hazardous waste is a crime and may be very costly to the individual performing this act.
- Car removal – car(s) are removed based on lender/investor/insurer/client instructions.
*Many lenders/investors/insurers/clients require that a dump receipt be provide to verify that the debris was dumped legally.
- Gas and/or electricity should be turned off for the boiler and the water heater.
- All plumbing and heating systems must be drained.
- Air pressure must be used to clear the system of water.
- Anti-freeze must be added to all fixtures.
- Water supply must be shut off by closing the main shut off valve.
- Water meter must be disconnected from the cradle and left on the premises.
- The feed pipe that leads to the main water valve must be disconnected, plugged, or capped.
- All winterized items must be tagged or labeled with date of winterization and preferably the company that performs the winterization.
- Initial and reoccurring lawn services will be provided based on requirements set by city/county/lender/investor/insurer/client. Services may be required one to two times per month.
- Many homes that are left uncared for may need additional work done during janitorial/sales clean. All bedrooms and bathrooms must be cleaned according to sanitary standards and as required by lender/investor/insurer/client. All rooms must be free from debris and other items that are not permanently fixed to or a part of the sale of the property. Services usually include vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing of items needed to be cleaned.
- Client awareness of pool condition must be made immediately. Then upon instruction and based on the pool’s condition, it must be drained, cleaned, and refilled as necessary. Chemical are added on a weekly basis along with other services that are necessary to maintain pool’s cleanliness.
- Photographs of all services must be provided to lenders/investors/insurers/clients. Many clients require before photos to be submitted prior to issuance of assignment. However, other lenders/investors/insurers/clients require all before and after service photos to be provide upon completion of assignment. Photos must indicate of the amount of service provided by field service (property preservation) company.