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Jon Porrey's Blog

By Jon Porrey | Agent in Grand Rapids, MI

What to expect when buying Foreclosures for Re-Sale

In most cases all of the trash, garbage and whatever has been removed before you take possession.  You probably also have had an inspection and know the condition of the roof, foundation, structure, mechanicals, plumbing, electric, and so forth.  Yet sometimes there still is trash, and unmentionables hanging around a home that get neglected when the bank or property management company get’s the property in “broom swept” condition. What that term means is that if you had a broom and ran it along the floors it wouldn’t hit anything.


My wife and I when working on Foreclosed Homes we have purchased, and then worked on ourselves, have had friends many times stop by to see what we were doing.  Some of them had the idea that this was easy, just buy a home, paint it a bit, and then sell it for a profit.  “They must be rich”, some would say. But then when they got inside one of our homes, the whining would start.

“Boy, this place smells!”, “Gosh, what a mess!”, “How can you stand it?”, “I would never do that!” and so on.  What most people fail to see is beyond the mess and/or clutter, beyond the holes in the walls, and beyond the ugly paint, old paneling, ratty carpeting with dog smell and cigarette burn holes, and the stains everywhere.   Most of them would never do what we do, nor would they make a profit at it.

The true extra profit you can receive in purchasing a foreclosed home and then reselling is being able to “LOOK BEYOND”.  You must be able to envision what the home will look like with and outside that may have new storm windows and doors, paint, a roof, etc. and the inside with new paint, new carpeting, laminate flooring, etc.   This is the vision you have to have to be able to profit from your venture. 

Yet, sometimes the vision is fantasy and therein lies the caution.  In our Team, my wife and I, we would discuss what should or shouldn’t be done to make a home READY TO MOVE IN, “RTIMI”,  and during the course of our ventures we EDUCATED OUR EYES, “E-Y-E”.   When discussing what should or shouldn’t be done to improve the property, we would ask ourselves, What work or improvements will SELL the Home?  What work or improvements only would please us? In other words, what work or improvements will help make a profit and what won’t.

When you get to that point make a list. Circle the exterior and the interior with pencil and paper.  Mark down each and every task that would be a “priority” to make this home “RTMI”.   Even down to colors, carpeting/laminate/vinyl, etc.

This will set up your plan of work to get this home up and running and on its way back into the Market.  Remember, don’t be fooled by Houses in the neighborhood that have been on the market for awhile.   If you make your house “RTMI”, it will sell quickly!  

We have bought homes, seen ones in the neighborhood up for sale, worked on ours for 3 months and then sold it within a month after being put on the market. We have even sold a couple BEFORE they were finished, because prospective buyers saw what we were doing and KNEW what would be done before they moved in.

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