Foreclosure in Jacksonville>Question Details

Luke Watters, Home Buyer in Jacksonville, FL

How would I go about starting a Foreclosure cleanout and restoration buisness??

Asked by Luke Watters, Jacksonville, FL Wed Apr 23, 2008

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Ruth and Perry are right, contacting the local agents that represent the foreclosure "reo" home is the way to go. When driving through your area, if you see notices posted on properties, it usually says what asset management company is handling it and their contact information.

Design business cards, set up your own website, then market throughout your local area-you will get work from real estate agents this way, try reaching out to them on facebook, trulia, foreclosure cleanup network, active rain, property preservation directory, twitter, and other online sites and network this way to them as well. Many times offering them a discount the first time will help get your foot in the door.

If you are looking for Reo Foreclosure cleaning work from the banks and asset management companies, you will need to register to become one of the Reo vendors. You can find the banks and asset management companies online and sign up with them, try google searching asset management real estate contacts, once you have signed up with them and provided them your insurance and contact information, they will start assigning your Reo work in your area. Once you are on their list, work hard as they do score you on the work you do, then once you have successfully completed some work for them, ask them for more and reassure them that you can handle it.

This industry is very fast paced and hard work, and there is a lot of billing, make sure to educate yourself, setup a good billing system, and go out there and work hard. Then the work will come, foreclosures are definitely going to be around for awhile.

Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 25, 2011
One issue I have not seen discussed is the Ordermills...there has been mention of a few SGP being the worst of the worst in the industry...
This is not A easy industry to break into as you need about 35,000 in equipment, another $200 or so per employee for training and education programs you will need for the services you are going to agree to perform with a Back Charge clause that allows for back charging two years down the road. In addition you will need about 3-4k for insurance, contracts for hazardous material disposal, another 1-2k for supplies...air fresheners...locks...pad supplies, Personal Protection Equipment for your employees...
After you do all this then you'll be able to perform many of the services illegally that are demanded of you....

I developed a Business 101 package for this specifically for this industry. The package includes videos and spread sheets specifically designed to help the New Entrepreneur get started in the industry.
I also publish a watch list about companies that commit fraud and theft .

If you'd like a clearer picture of the Property Preservation Industry go to or

That is where you'll find the Rest of the Story.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 11, 2015
I just noticed this was started in how things have changed since then.....
Flag Fri Dec 11, 2015
will there be certain ways to restore the house every house?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2015
Also people contact foreclosure realtors and ask for the work.
You find a list of them on
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Here is an article with how to find clean out business and price it.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
Get in touch with the agents who list by going to the Open Houses on the weekend.
Check the neighborhoods you want to do business in and call the banks and names given on
The Notice of Sale pasted on the doors.

You will be busy.

Get a flat rate cell hpone plan and make calls.

You will have more business than you can handle.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 27, 2011
I would read up on the Lead Base Paint Certification requirements on the EPA link below. If you are gonna be working on homes built before 1978 this is very important stuff for you to know before you make that all important decision.

Also network...Network...Network. get involved with the local real estate commission & realtor networking events. Also get involved with the local Chamber of commerce. Spend time researching before you spend money getting into the business.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 22, 2011
First, do some research on the industry online. Much FREE information available. If you can clean and mow lawns and do minor repairs, you can get started in this industry. You'll need a truck for hauling debris and miscellaneous equipment (much of which you may already have in your garage). Profit margins are thin in the industry, so careful you price to make a profit. Also, it's hard work and some clients take up to three months, minimum (the larger property preservation companies) to pay. But if you position your business right from the beginning to take advantage of long-term viability in real estate contracting, offering the same services as you would in foreclosure cleanup, you've got a solid, evergreen business opportunity.

Many wishes of success!

Cassandra Black, Consultant & CEO, Foreclosure Cleanup, LLC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Register as a vendor with as many asset managers as you can find. We do occupancy verifications and property cond reports for many of them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 29, 2010
Also, try contacting the realtors that list these properties an establish a relationship with them
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 15, 2010
Yes, I would call on Realtors that specialize in foreclosures. Call the banks foreclosure departments and find out who they use to list the homes after foreclosure. Also check your local county sherrif's auctions for a list of homes coming up for auction. There is always a contact number for the representing attorney handling the foreclosure. If they don't hire you directly, they can refer you to someone who could/would hire you. Another idea would be to put an ad in a local real estate classifieds or craigslist offering your services. Once you establish a good reputation with a few people, ask for referrals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
Contact every REALTOR that you can find and tell them that you do this. The only up front money you need to spend is a business license, business cards, and a small brochure. You can get the insurance when you actually start bidding jobs. I have sent this business out to several people and the bottom line is that I always want to have three people to send to bid work.

Good luck!

Gary De Pury
Bay Vista Realty
Lutz Florida
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 24, 2009
You need lots of money and alot of good contacts. It is not a business to just walk into. Most of the time the pay takes 45 to 60 days to get paid. So You have to spend alot, Truck, Trailer, Dumping fees, Material, Locks, cleaning supplies, Lawn equipment, Ect. A good Company Will do it all Remove trash, clean up in and out, change locks ect. And be willing to travel up to 250 miles to get business. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 22, 2009
Luke, go to one of the realty companies in your area. Ask if they have a "flyer service". Here in Wash DC area, we have a company called Frequent Flyer, and another called Local Coverage. For $72.00 I was able to have a flyer delivered to 1,300 agents on behalf of one of my clients who is a handyman. The flyer will go out tomorrow to everybody, so we are hoping for a brisk response. If you can invest a little money that way, it could get you "in the door" with an agent that already has a relationship with several banks. Then the agent can refer you the business on behalf of the bank client. Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 13, 2009
I think you should consider contacting Safeguard and getting on their list. The training is very good and there are MANY issues that need to be addressed in this area.

Having had homes without proper winterization and other issues, I shudder to think of you coming on board without experience in this area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 3, 2009
Saeguard is the worst outsourcing company in the industry. As almost anymember of NAMFS...SGP currently has over 1,000 active lawsuits including something you allude to...IC?Employee said they provide training...they also force you to purchase insurancefrom a sister company and the supply house they insist you use is Klien's (owner of SGP) brother...nepotism at it's finest...
Flag Fri Dec 11, 2015
JR, regarding your question about taxes. If your company earns $50K from a foreclosure clean-out business, you may be able to "write-off" portions of your mortgage, ultities, vehicles and any other expenses that you need for your business. You may be also be able to deduct your health insurance and other expenses and pay taxes on your income minus your expenses. Check all this with an account, but your taxes probably fall between 11%-28% depending on how many write-offs you have. This is not accounting or tax advise, just what I have found in my own experience.

You are answering Mark Harvey's question, not mine. As a freelancer and independent contractor for the past 23 years, I know there are many things that can be written off, which is why I recommended he talk to an accountant to learn what he as an individual can write off in his own situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 7, 2009
This is not an answer to his response but my wife and I are curious how bad does a small business get taxed on say $50K to $70K a year in gross income?
You need to ask an account.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
This is not an answer to his response but my wife and I are curious how bad does a small business get taxed on say $50K to $70K a year in gross income?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 6, 2009
I live in South Carolina and have been doing clean-outs on HUD properties for 15 yrs. but always for another company, I would like to start working for myself but haven't had any luck with getting clients would appreciate any information you could give.I also do re-keying,lawncare,pool draining & above ground pool removal,winterizations,carpet removal,inspections,& small repairs. thank you,Marilyn
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 5, 2009
Hi Luke

Please shoot me an email and email and let me know what part of JAX you want to work in (Gas costs too much to go everywhere) I will send you back at least 5 agents from the JAX MLS that have REO's in your area of choice.

my email is

JD “Dan” Weisenburger, GRI
Broker-Associate REALTOR®
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Hello my. Name is Murphy Benson. I have my home improvement business for about 7 years. Can do everything. Electrical, plumbing, drywall,etc. but want to get in forcolsure cleanup. Can someone lead me in the right direction on who to contact in te Atlanta area please.
Flag Wed Sep 12, 2012
Go through your local MLS and look for REO (real estate owned) agents and contact them. The banks work through them. Be carefull, banks are slow pay.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
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