I am writing an article on winterizing properties, which all of you probably do now, but I am including "summerizing". I have done BPO's on too many properties only to be called back 2-3 months of summer later to do an update BPO on a property that now has been destroyed with mold because no steps were taken to fight off the humidity of our summer days (I'm in Baltimore). I would be interested in personal experiences on what works, what doesn't, who takes the initiative (does the lender do it through the property preservation company or look to the listing agent to go ahead with this process) and anything else you might want to contribute. I am also going to go into a new concept, "caretaker in place", where the defaulting owner is paid to stay and take care of the property until sold and then given a nice moving bonus if they do a good job. What do you think?
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  • Carlos is correct. The listing agent is responsible to ensure the property is taken care of and it's his/her responsibilty to prevent the things you have mentioned from happening. Even if a presevation company is assigned to maintain that property it's still falls on the listing agent to make the proper recommendations and ensure the preservation company is doing what their supposed to do. If this is being done then there wouldn't be a need for a caretaker. The only time I can see a caretaker working is in the distressed areas where as soon as the house becomes vacant it gets broken into and stripped of everything.
  • I think at the time when on a property is assigned one of the agent's task is to secure the property. Once at the property the agent should report to the asset management company what steps need to be taken to cure any problems, if found. I don't think they would oppose it. As for the caretaker concept, it's not only added liability problem but also becomes a marketability issue. Who likes getting appointment to show a property? Does the buyer have same feelings when someone is the house? Anyway this is just my humble opinion,. :-)
  • From my experience the lender assigns the task to the listing agent and the listing agent. The care taker concept is not a viable option as some of them might not cooperate and banks don't want to take that risk.
  • I know in some of my areas the worst thing you can do is have the house vacant. As soon as they know it's vacant or see the boards up it becomes a target. It's so bad now that I have come to expect my houses to get broken into and stripped. I can't get an AM to take 70k on a property listed for 79k. I know it's not always up to them but in certain areas you have to take what you can and fast. That property was recently broken into and now they'll be lucky to get 55k. I have another listed at 89k and the buyers had an accepted offer for 75k but during their inspections they found an abandoned underground oil tank. They refuse to take it out on their dime so the buyer asked for a 10k credit and they said no. I tried to explain to them that nobody in their right mind will by a house with an abandoned underground tank but they won't listen. It's tough sometimes to try and get them to understand but I guess it's part of the game.
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