When you come into possession of an REO Property, whether it’s due to a foreclosure or any other reason, your primary goal is to get it off the market and get it sold, fast. Unfortunately, winter is coming fast, the temperatures are getting colder, snow is on the horizon, and worst of all, it’s the slow time for real estate sales.
You’ll need to take the right steps to protect your property against the ravages of winter, while at the same time keeping it presentable to draw in prospective buyers. Discover how to winterize an REO property, keep it structurally sound and intact, and improve your chances of selling it during the slow months of the year.
Winterize an REO Property
The first thing you need to do, to improve your chances for sale at this time of year, is to winterize an REO property. This is a process of taking the right steps and planning to protect the real estate against winter weather.
Run the Thermostat, but Low
This is important—keep the utilities on. Low temperatures can be fatal to a property. You don’t need to run the gas bill up by keeping the thermostat at 72 degrees all winter, but keeping it set at about 50 degrees will keep the house warm enough that the pipes are less likely to freeze and prevent structural damage.
Shut off the Water
Inside every home is a main water valve. Assuming you haven’t yet had the water utilities shut off, turn off the main valve in the house. After you do so, open up all the faucets and flush the toilets. Leave the faucets open. This will prevent the buildup of pressure in the pipes. It can prevent major water damage from freezing lines.
Protect and Insulate
You wouldn’t think about going outside in the cold without a coat, scarf, hat and gloves, and your REO property is no different. Make sure you’ve secured storm windows, closed up the shutters, removed any outdoor décor and furniture, and consider putting weather stripping on the windows. If there’s a fireplace, close the damper and flue. Clear out the gutters and do anything else you can do to insulate against the precipitation and cold.
Unplug the Lights
If you haven’t turned off the electricity to the house, you should unplug lamps and any other outlets. Even when appliances aren’t running, just having them plugged in uses phantom energy and runs up your electric bill. In addition, just having a lamp plugged in can present a danger of electrical fires, however small.
Consider an REO Services Company
Of course, since you don’t have the time and resources to constantly maintain an REO property you never wanted to begin with, your best bet to protect the home, get it sold quickly, and save yourself money and resources, is to use an REO services company to winterize an REO property.
First Freedom Preservation is your best resource for complete REO services, from winterization to repairs and upgrades and more. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you.