How To Start A Foreclosure Cleaning Business

There are always money-making prospects for folks ready to work hard in times of economic instability. 

A foreclosure cleaning service is one of the best examples of these opportunistic ventures. 

If you’ve ever visited a foreclosure real estate listing in person, you’ve probably noticed that they’re not as pristine or staged as a typical home.

In fact, several of them have been totally demolished by the previous owners, who are undoubtedly displeased with their loss of property.

In this post, you’ll discover all you need to know about starting and running your own property restoration business and how to provide quality service.

Let’s get started. 

how to start a foreclosure cleaning business

How Does It Usually Operate, and What’s The Pay Like? 

A flexible schedule is required for those who want to establish a foreclosed home cleaning service. 

Banks frequently require cleaners on short notice, and work must be completed in a timely manner. 

Weekend work is common, and some bank-owned properties require extensive repairs before they can be sold.

The tasks, on the other hand, pay nicely, with salaries ranging from $500 to $2,500 per property.

Another way that foreclosure cleaners generate extra money is by selling items that the previous homeowner left behind. 

You should obviously verify with the client, but they may want you to remove any items that have been left behind in the residence.

It’s up to you whether you want to get rid of it, keep it, or sell it.

Related Reading: What’s the Best Platform to Buy and Sell a Business – Check Out The Platforms Here.

How To Start A Foreclosure Cleaning Business: A Step-by-step Guide 

The good news is that you don’t need much to get started in this line of work.

All you’ll need are some cleaning products and a phone number where you can be reached. 

Getting jobs is crucial to a company’s success.

You’ll need to conduct some networking to accomplish this.

Step 1: Prepare Operating Costs 

Operating costs are incurred by all enterprises.

Labor, cars, supplies, and documentation are all part of the running costs of cleaning foreclosed properties.

Labor is the most expensive operating expenditure.

Cleaning foreclosed homes will necessitate the hiring of waste removal crews and foreclosure cleaners. 

Construction contractors may also need to make some repairs to make the home resale-worthy.

All of the backend work, including accounting and legal matters, is also included. 

Consider outsourcing your paperwork if your company is still in its development.

You can, for example, outsource accounting to and legal work to

Vehicles are the second type of operating expense.

It will take a long time in a car to remove large furniture items. 

Small dump trucks are available to transport all of the trash that has accumulated.

Damage to trucks will be incurred, as well as the cost of gas.

Supplies are the third and last operating cost.

Something needs to be done about the grime and dust! 

Disposal fees may be the fourth operating expenditure.

You may be required to shoulder a fee to dispose of some materials, depending on where you live in the country and local legislation.

Finally, account for unanticipated expenses in your budget.

You should expect unexpected fixes and issues. 

When a truck breaks down, the unexpected costs budget will cover these expenses, so you don’t go broke.

When making a price on a cleanup, all of the running costs should be considered.

Making money isn’t cheap.

Permits and other prerequisites will cost extra, especially when it comes to a foreclosed home cleaning business.

Step 2: Secure Permits and Other Requirements 

how to start a foreclosure cleaning business Secure Permits and Other Requirements 

You can’t just simply stroll into a house and tidy it up.

A cleaning service for bank-owned properties necessitate the acquisition of a business license, a federal tax identification number, and insurance.

You should also think about obtaining a general contractor’s license.

Business License 

Obtain your company’s license.

A business license permits you to start and operate a cleaning business within the government’s jurisdiction.

Federal Tax Identification Number 

You’ll need a Federal Tax Identification Number if you want to recruit people (a.k.a. Employer Identification Number).

The number is used by the IRS to identify businesses.

Insurance Plan 

Get an insurance policy for your cleaning business.

It’s essential to have insurance to pay for repairs if something goes wrong. 

Depending on the state, you may be required to carry minimum insurance coverage if you work for a bank.

General Contractor License 

A general contractor’s license may be demanded by some lenders.

You can engage subcontractors (carpenters, electricians, painters, plumbers) if you don’t have the licenses to finish everything in-house. 

Having staff in-house can help you obtain more gigs because it means less work for the lender.

It will be critical to have the proper papers when you begin to work with other businesses and people.

Again, there are online resources that can assist you with your legal concerns.

Related Reading: Unique Buisness Ideas – Click Here To Find Out.

Step 3: Determine Your Pricing For Your Foreclosed Homes Cleaning Business

Determine Your Pricing For Your Foreclosed Homes Cleaning Business

Lenders will be looking for a rapid turnaround on the property.

The more time it takes to clean, the more money you’ll lose. 

Each cleanout will be priced differently, so have a professional on hand to give you a quote on each house.

Banks are likely to pay a bit more for speedy foreclosure cleaning

Keep track of how long it takes for a turn to go from start to “sold.” 

Cleaning jobs will become easier to come by after you have a track record.

To be successful in anything requires time and effort.

You will begin to see the typical expenditures for cleaning foreclosure properties over time.

Make a pricing template for repetitive damages and items. 

You will see repeated damages such as holes in the walls, ripped plumbing, shattered windows, and so forth. 

When quoting a home, take a lot of pictures and don’t be afraid to get dirty. Damages and difficulties may be out of plain sight.

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Step 4: Hire Employees and Source Supplies For Your Foreclosed Homes Cleaning Business

One of the appealing aspects of beginning a foreclosure cleaning service is that you don’t need a lot of equipment or supplies to get started. 

In most circumstances, any vehicle will be able to accommodate all of your equipment.

This is because the majority of the jobs you’ll start with will be modest, requiring only a small number of supplies. 

The number of workers required for your foreclosed home cleaning service is determined by the size and scope of your enterprise. 

Here is a list of some of the items you’ll need to get started cleaning foreclosed homes:

  • Brooms
  • Dustpans 
  • Bathroom cleaner 
  • Wet mops and buckets 
  • Feather dusters 
  • Vacuum 
  • Extension cord 
  • Paper towels 
  • Wet floor signs 
  • Cloth rags 
  • Window cleaner 
  • Soft scrub products 
  • Sponges 
  • Disinfectant cleaner 
  • Dry mop 
  • Toilet brush 
  • Latex gloves 
  • Mask 
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • SOS pads 
  • Furniture polish

Foreclosure cleaning services typically include services like trash removal and floor polishing.

Window washing and lawn maintenance are more examples of a more specialized service. 

If you specialize in carpet cleaning, you can probably also clean tiles and leather.

You may also offer water damage restoration services in addition to carpet cleaning.

Step 5: Start Looking For Work 

Start Looking For Work

Now, it’s time to get cleaning! Foreclosure auctions, real estate agents, lenders, and driving around are some of the areas to look at.

Go Online 

Filtering foreclosure houses is possible on websites like Zillow and Realtors.

Start creating a relationship with real estate agents who specialize in foreclosed houses.

You could even reach out to the foreclosure business owners themselves.

Drive Around 

Gems can be found in your own backyard.

That is to say; there are foreclosed properties in your area. 

Drive around and look for sale and foreclosed house picket signs on front lawns.

Inquire about cleaning services by calling the number on the placards.

Local Foreclosure Auctions 

A foreclosure home auction is a great place to discover repossessed home buyers.

Establish Your Reputation 

There are no better clients than those who have been referred to you.

You worked with someone who praised your job and recommended you to their friends.

Be the area’s go-to foreclosure cleaning business, delivering excellent service.

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Go To A Lender

Banks frequently deal with repossessed and foreclosed homes and require a speedy cleaning turnaround in order to market the property. 

The branch of the bank that has to do with repossessed properties is known as Real Estate Owned (REO). 

Visit banks and give your high-quality cleaning services in a timely manner.

Any leads should be followed up on.

The more you communicate, the more likely you are to sign a contract or, at the very least, receive a flat no. 

Display your work in a reference portfolio.

Businesses like to see examples of previous work to get a sense of what to expect.

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Step 5: Deal With Removal and Disposal of Items 

Large things, such as old furniture and appliances, might be difficult to remove.

Carrying around strange passages and crooked corners can occasionally necessitate the use of numerous individuals. 

You must appropriately dispose of the goods once they have been removed from the house.


What should you do with the rubbish once it’s out of the house?

Load it into the truck if you don’t work in a city where furniture can be left on the curb.

When it comes to moving heavy objects, there are a few moving alternatives, which are: 


You may want to purchase the vehicles if you intend to run a foreclosure cleaning service.

You’ll also require a location to park the trucks. 

Purchasing your trucks might save you money in the long run and ensure that you are ready to show up when the call comes in.


You can also rent a truck from U-Haul or another truck rental business.

Renting a vehicle could be a good choice for someone who is just getting started and doesn’t want to spend more than $10,000.


If you’re considering outsourcing your vehicles, be sure they’re dependable.

Because of the high volume of foreclosure cleanouts, a swift and responsive removal service is required.


What are you going to do with the stuff now that it’s out of the house?

Donate as much as you can. 

Clothing and other accessories, as well as furniture that isn’t discolored or damaged, are excellent donations.

Dispose of whatever you can’t contribute.

Many cities are working to achieve Zero Waste status.

However, it is an aim rather than a law. 

It indicates that local governments are attempting to reduce the amount of waste delivered to landfills. 

In time, 100% of the items removed from the cleanup will be reused or repurposed.

Related Reading: How To Start A Home Healthcare Business – Read The Full Post Here.

How To Start A Foreclosure Business: Final Thoughts 

That’s all there is to it for a quick and easy method to start your own foreclosure cleaning business. 

This is a relatively simple industry to break into.

All it takes is a little forethought and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

Best of luck!

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Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an entrepreneur, father, husband, & follower of the golden rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a Finance degree from Auburn University. Addicted to starting new business projects, he believes in creating multiple income streams and a life of flexibility. Business should work around your life, not the other way around. He creates content on his website, sharing his projects to help other hustlers in marketing, personal finance, and online business.