REO properties are the bane of many lenders. No bank or real estate company wants to end up owning a foreclosure property. They are not only a time drain, but a drain on resources and finances. This drain comes in terms of not only ongoing ownership costs, but upgrades, maintenance, and potentially fines from local municipalities.

If you can stay on top of the important maintenance issues, however, you can minimize the resource drain and keep the property in shape to sell quickly. Address these top REO property maintenance issues immediately to avoid not only difficulty selling, but the potential for severe fines and penalties.

REO Property Maintenance Issues

There are a number of must-address REO property maintenance issues. These all equate to making sure that the property appears livable. It must be attractive and habitable, and it cannot contribute to any sense of urban blight. This is essential, not just to the sale-ability of the home, but to avoiding fines and penalties from municipalities.

Fines and Penalties

Many municipalities subject property owners, even when such owners are banks and companies, to penalties and fines for not maintaining a property. These fins can range into the tens of thousands of dollars. In the most extreme cases, municipalities may have ordinances which allow the local government to make repairs and then charge you for the costs of said repairs.

Cleaning Up the Property

Thus, the most important property maintenance issue is to clean it up. Keep the grass and landscaping neat and tidy. Keep the sidewalks and walkways clear of debris and, in the winter, of snow and ice. Keep the house properly painted and clear of graffiti, and the exterior in repair with no broken or boarded windows or doors. Most of this is standard upkeep which a landscaping service can do for you.

Avoiding Squatters

The key is to make the property look not only livable, but lived-in. Squatters can present a major problem for holders of REO properties, and once established they can be hard to get rid of. Not only do they interfere with your ability to sell the property, they can do untold damage to the property itself. The best defense against squatters is to keep security strong and keep the house looking like it’s not vacant.

Interior Maintenance

Another important issue is maintaining the interior of the home. Keep the plumbing and wiring in shape. Make sure the plaster or drywall is solid and the paint not chipped or dirty. Keep the carpets clean. At very least, keep the fixtures in good repair, if not upgraded overall. This will improve your chances of selling the home at a good price.

Hire a Property Management Firm

The best way to handle your various REO property maintenance issues is to work with a qualified property management firm. A firm like First Freedom Preservation can not only take care of the issues above, they can add additional services like removing squatters who are established, lead abatement, upgrades, and easy monitoring and cost controls.

If you’re interested in help with your top maintenance issues, get in touch with First Freedom Preservation today.