How to Repair Foreclosed Homes for Banks

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When a home goes into foreclosure, it often is neglected by the outgoing homeowners because they are no longer motivated to keep it clean and in repair. Since a bank is not in the business of repairing or reselling homes, it relies on outside contractors to get the job done right. Most repairs for any foreclosure are very simple and consist of cleaning, removing trash and replacing drywall.

Assess the property inside and out. Take special note of cosmetic damages to floors, walls and ceilings. They are the first things buyers will want to inspect. Also, inspect the roof, foundation, plumbing and electrical installations for major problems.

Make a list of the problems with the home and include your best estimates for repairing each problem. Keep in mind that banks do not expect contractors to conduct major repairs unless they specify this. Most foreclosed homes are sold as is.

Remove all the trash from the inside of the home, including the basement, crawl spaces and attics. Contact a junk removal service to do this for free (1-800-Got-Junk is an example) if there is a large amount of old stuff still in the home.

Remove damaged drywall and plaster using a crowbar and nail puller and replace with fresh drywall of the same thickness (usually 1/2-inch drywall is used in homes). Prime and then repaint the walls to match the original color.

Clean all floors and replace linoleum flooring where necessary. Install a fresh layer of linoleum over existing damaged or stained flooring using a flooring adhesive.

Remove and replace damaged floor or ceiling moldings using a crowbar, and pneumatic nailer. Paint the new moldings to match the existing moldings. This may require taking a sample of the molding to a paint store to get a true match.

Tips

  • Most banks will sell properties as is, so get specific instructions about the extent of the repairs you are expected to conduct before you begin making any changes to the home.