In any profession there are chores, jobs that are not the most pleasant.But you take it all in stride as part of being a professional REALTOR.
Nurses handling bed pans, farmers picking rocks or shoveling away the crop that broke down in the potato bin that is now useless and you wish you had a head cold to avoid the stench. Realtors selling foreclosures in the making where the owner opted for "jingle mail" and jettisoned the keys USPS wise rather than the payment check know what I am talking about.In the case of winter, that home that slowly goes thru the financial insurance hurdles to land at one entity that will ultimately have the authority to sell. You the broker provide a value for this place where it looked like a bomb hit. Making recommendations, being careful accessing the home like a medical examiner in a morgue when they pull the white sheet away is key. The lights are off, it gets dark earlier in the northern winter climates. There is debris scattered and the sad pan of the landscape with kids toys, broken furniture, school pictures even left in the exodus. Sorrowful but the Realtor has a job...access the situation, secure the perimeter and settle in for a one by one issue approach to get this property sold with the least fuss possible. And keep the owner from being sued after that sale.
I see the home wrecker cast off sales as one more in the real estate mix we deal with. Some are a real challenge. The compensation is smaller as the price tag gets skinny to make it move out. It is like the Heinz 57 variety dog pound dog or cat with a face only a mother could love. But someone out there wants to tackle a basket case, something needing an act of love, a labor or all out intensive care operation not every buyer is willing to tackle. Heck there are a slew of brokers that would shake their head, wag their finger and get judgemental not wanting to get involved. So when talking a home like this one, it is not the home, it is the 225 acres wrapping around it. You don't pay for the home and it is a situation where you either ask me to pass you the hammer, or give you a match along with the phone number of a good bulldozer operator. Here is a list you can add to for the home for sale that is straight from a horror movie. This is what you run in to as a real estate broker for those non gold plated places we run in to. Don't pul punches. Tell them the way it is but remind them of the blue light special pricing you help arrive at for the proud new bank, mortgage company, holding entity that has this and many others in their lap.
The home locks need to be changed or the door modified to lock as a crowbar has done it's magic to someone that came back without a key. Lock windows. Ironically, homes in Northern Maine are not locked anyway. We have the 4th lowest crime state and it's high security bread and butter knives holding the front door from blowing open with the weather. But in the case of repos, lock 'em up. Get the plumbing drained although if they went thru a winter without a plumber to do the procedure, it is a little late. The damage is done.
Get an estimate for a dumpster for how many pounds of debris, garbage, whatever the cat or dog left behind.Sometime you see the family pet that has not been visiting the empty cat or dog dish anymore and did not make the middle of the night move. Or was left behind. Deal with it, or hire it done.
Mow lawns, get power turned back on, look for environmental hazards like leaking oil tanks, car batteries. Deep siz that refrigerator or get ride of it without opening it. You don't want to see and smell what is in there. Same with toilets. Talk to neighbors and get a rundown on the situation leading in to this train wreck. Where did own go as it is handy to give them a jingle to ask about the septic, the pros and cons of the place. Most are honest, helpful. Some are sour grapes and not credible. Many will say how hard it was to heat and usually it is because money for fuel was diverted to toys, four wheelers, snowsleds, four wheel drives, eating out...not the mortgage, tax, fuel payment.
I like land to get ready to market as no home or that element. Homes have the loose ends. Land other than fixing a culvert, walking it with a surveyor to figure out a subvision and sitting thru lots of local zoning, planning board meetings is so much easier. Working out right of ways, cleaning up a botch logging operation or bush hogging the burdocks and golden rod can make such a dramatic difference. The home with years of many angry occupants systematically trashing it is another story or fox hole maneuver. Get your tetanus shot. The handyman specials riddled with ten foot pole marks and wounds are rewarding but make you wonder about the kids in the families that lived there and where are they now? Your heart gets involved.