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Kaplan ITA's Monthly Inspection Tips - Free Electronic Newsletter

December, 2007
Foreclosure Inspections
Issue #68

This month I would like to discuss foreclosure inspections. While unfortunate for the “foreclosed upon” the current increase in foreclosure rates presents an opportunity to home inspectors. I recall a similar market in the early 90’s in California during which time I performed many REO (bank lingo – real estate owned) inspections and the former Resolution Trust Corp (remember the S&L scandal?).

There are many types of foreclosure inspections being offered – from a simple drive-by to a complete “SOP” typical inspection, but with photos. Searching the Internet I find many companies offering to place you on a list, for a fee, or to become an associate foreclosure inspector. This may work for some.

My experience has been that doing a little homework and getting the word out (such as placing the phrase “foreclosure inspections” on your website) will attract some work.

These inspections have varied per institution. Some want a simple exterior assessment of the property and a few photos. Others will provide access requiring only damage assessment and what repairs may be necessary to make the home “presentable for sale.” The vast majority of institutions were looking for a complete SOP inspection, knowing that a complete inspection would most likely be performed for a buyer of the property. In addition, any comments on what areas needed cosmetic repair, such as carpet and paint/wall repair.

Conversely, we also can offer our services to a potential buyer of a foreclosed property. Often, these are sold at auction wherein there is little time for a thorough inspection. I have often been retained to accompany a potential bidder during the pre-auction walk through (sometimes only half an hour prior to auction) and provided verbal comments. Be careful though – often the former occupants leave booby-traps such as clogged drains, cut wiring, etc.

Other times the properties are sold on the courthouse steps (usually if a tax lien) by auction. An inspector might attend an auction and introduce him/her self to active bidders and promote the benefits of an inspection of a potentially risky purchase.

This is just another method of diversification home inspectors can enjoy. For other avenues check out Kaplan ITA's 200 Series online courses, and our Learn 2 Earn™ classroom courses such as Commercial Inspection and New Construction Inspection.

If you have any suggestions for future Kaplan ITA inspection tips feel free to let me know!

We’ll talk next month.

Mike Casey
Kaplan Professional Schools


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