VO6 - REO Initial Services

This course will aid vendors with understanding Cyprexx practices pertaining to REO properties.

REO Initial Services

1. Introduction

REO stands for Real Estate Owned and describes a class of property that is owned by a lender (a bank, government agency, or government insurer). When a property is classified as 'REO', Initial Services must be performed so that the property can be shown on the real estate market in the 'Best Marketable Condition'.  

2. Initial Services: What do they consist of?

REO Services, often referred to as 'Initial Services' typically consist of:

  • Confirming Vacancy/Occupancy
  • Confirming status of utilities
  • Initial Securing (if required by client)
  • Initial Lawn
  • Debris Removal
  • Interior Sales Clean
  • Winterization (if required by client)
  • Address Safety Hazards (if required by client)

3. Confirming Vacancy / Access

Upon arriving at a property where you have been asked to perform Initial Services, before proceeding, you MUST confirm that the property is Vacant.

If Occupied - walk away and contact your coordinator.

If Unable to Access the property - call 'from site' (call your coordinator while you are still at the location for instructions).

 

TIP: If you have to leave a job assignment for one of the above reasons, it can be helpful to take a photo of the street sign or home, itself,  in case your coordinator should request it to document your attempt at servicing the property. 

4. Animals Onsite

If you should encounter any animals while onsite, please contact the assigned Cyprexx coordinator immediately and they will advise you of  how to proceed. This pertains to all animals (alive or deceased), livestock, rodents, pets, etc. 

ALWAYS PROCEED WITH CAUTION

5. Properties in the 'REO' phase are typically

  • owned by the borrower.
  • owned by the tenant.
  • owned by a lender/bank.

6. Utilities

Report the presence and status of Utilities including:

  • Electricity (power)
  • Natural gas
  • Water (Well vs. City/County, etc.)

Additionally, please photograph and report the presence/absence of:

  • Sump-pumps
  • Irrigation (sprinkler) systems

7. Personal Belongings

Once you have gained access to the property, confirm there are no Personal Belongings present. If Personal Belongings are present, STOP, photograph them, and contact your coordinator immediately for instructions.

Personal Belongings consist of personal items that cannot easily be replaced or items of value such as:

  • Personal documents and/or financial records
  • Photographs and/or photo albums
  • Jewelry
  • Electronics (computers, TV's, etc.)
  • Art and/or collectibles

NEVER remove these types of items unless otherwise instructed.

8. Initial Securing

'Securing' is the process in which locks (knob locks and/or deadbolts) are changed and the keys are placed in a lock box installed in a location of the broker's choosing. Combination padlocks and/or hasps may also be installed.

For some clients, the properties have been secured prior to them being assigned to you. For others, they will rely on you to complete the securing.

These services vary based on the requirements of each particular client. Always refer to your Work Order for client-specific instructions and contact your coordinator with any questions or concerns.

 

8a. Initial Securing

As part of Initial Securing, you will also:

  • Confirm Unit Type (Single Family, Condo, Townhouse, Land-only, etc.)
  • Confirm the lawn is to be serviced or that it is maintained by the HOA (Home Owners Assoc.)
  • Confirm all doors and windows are secure and unbroken
  • Confirm whether or not a pool is present (Secure pool if present)
  • Report any Code Violations/Safety Hazards
  • Post Cyprexx Emergency Contact Information (ER posting)
ER Posting (example):

 

9. Initial Lawn

When performing the Initial Lawn service, be sure to confirm the following items as they always vary based on the expectations for that particular client.

  • service expectations based on that particular client (cutting, edging, trimming, etc.)
  • acreage(size) of the entire property vs. lawn area to be serviced
  • required photos

Document and report any need for extensive cutting/trimming, vine removal, etc. 

If the property is larger than one acre, verify with your coordinator how much of the lawn is to be serviced. 

10. Debris Removal

All debris must be removed from the entire interior and exterior of the property, including attics, garages, outbuildings,  crawlspaces, etc. and disposed of properly.

Exterior debris - please note that all exterior debris must be removed, and not just from the acreage you are actually cutting/trimming.

Personal Belongings must never be removed unless authorized. Always contact the assigned Cyprexx coordinator for guidance or if you have any questions.

When in doubt, ALWAYS ASK before proceeding.

 

 

10a. Disposing of Debris

Debris must always be disposed of properly.

Illegal dumping, burning, or burying of debris is strictly prohibited.

10b. Debris Removal: Best Practices/Counting Cubic Yards

When you assess the amount of debris that is to be removed from a property, it is measured by Cubic Yard (cy). A Cubic Yard measures exactly 3 ft. x 3 ft. x 3 ft.

The weight of the items will not affect this measurement, however, please photograph and report any items that are unusually heavy or large.

Be sure to photograph the debris and itemize/document all hazardous materials, vehicles, boats, etc.

10c. TRUE or FALSE

  • Regardless of the size of the property lot, you are to always cut and edge the ENTIRE acreage.
  • When removing exterior debris from a property lot, you must remove debris from the ENTIRE lot, even if you are only cutting one acre.

10d. Match the Terms to the Correct Definitions

  • Debris
    trash or items that need to be disposed of
  • Personal Belongings
    items that may hold value or cannot easily be replaced

11. Interior Sales Clean

When performing an Interior Sales Clean, be sure to clean all rooms at the property. 

TIP: Don't forget Garages, Attics, Basements, and Outbuildings (Sheds, etc.).

11a. Interior Sales Clean

  • Sweep/vacuum, and mop all floors
  • Remove all cobwebs
  • Wipe clean all surfaces including:
    • cabinets (inside & out)
    • countertops
    • sinks
    • appliances (inside, outside, & under)
    • toilets
    • tubs/shower stalls
    • faucets & shower fixtures
    • mirrors
    • light fixtures & ceiling fans
    • outlet covers/switch plates
    • baseboards
    • interior windows (including seals)
    • storm doors (interior & exterior)
    • all vents (intake & return)
    • porch/deck/patio areas
    • blinds (if not removed) 
  • Place new Air Fresheners in all wet areas (see next slide for details)

 

12. Air Fresheners

  • Place new air fresheners in all wet areas and laundry room.
  • Write the date neatly with a permanent marker.
  • The date on the air freshener will reflect the date it was put in place.
  • Place the air freshener on the floor if there is no sink or countertop in the area.
  • If there are two or more stand-alone sinks, place an air freshener on each sink.
  • If there are two sinks in a double-vanity, only one air freshener is required.
  • Take multiple photos from different angles to show the absence of multiple dates.

DO NOT:

  • Re-use air fresheners
  • Add more than one date per air freshener
  • Correct the date once an error is made (replace with a new air freshener instead) 

* Double-dating air fresheners will result in removal from our vendor network.

13. Safety Hazards

When completing Initial Services at a property, Safety Hazards must also be addressed. Any items that could potentially cause injury or harm to someone must be photographed, reported to the coordinator, and often remediated on the spot, depending on client guidelines and whether or not there is a cost Allowable in place. An Allowable is a pre-approved cost for the purpose of quickly resolving a safety hazard.

Any questions regarding safety hazards and allowables should be referred to the assigned Cyprexx coordinator.

 

 

13a. Safety Hazards

Any safety issue that cannot be resolved immediately while onsite must be temporarily labeled/flagged by posting caution tape or temporary orange construction fencing at the affected areas.

Please have these items readily available while at property sites.

 

14. Common Safety Hazards

 

 

 

Here are some examples of common Safety Hazards:

 

 

 

 

  • Missing handrails
  • Open gas lines
  • Broken glass
  • Trip hazards (holes in lawn, missing floor vents, loose steps, etc.)
  • Exposed sharp objects (nails, hardware attached to walls, etc.)
  • Missing/non-functional smoke/CO2 detectors
  • Unsecured pools/spas/ponds

 

 

15. Checklists

When servicing properties, you will usually be required to complete and submit certain checklists while on-site (depending on client requirements). Here are some examples:

  • Health and Safety Checklist
  • Property Condition Checklist
  • Winterization Checklist

You are to complete the required checklist(s) and submit/upload them using the Cyprexx Web Portal or Pruvan mobile app. Contact the assigned Cyprexx coordinator if you have any questions.

15a. Checklists - Where to Locate Them

Most property checklists can be located on the Cyprexx Web Portal inside the property record.

To access them:

1. Log in to the Cyprexx Web Portal.

2. Access the property record.

3. Use the gear icon to open the drop-down menu and select Property Details page.

Once the Property Details page opens, you can use the Property Checklists button to access applicable checklists.

Once you have completed the checklist, click the Submit button to submit the checklist to Cyprexx. The assigned coordinator will be notified that the checklist is ready to be reviewed.

15a. Winterization Checklist - Where to Locate It

The Winterization Checklist can be located on the Cyprexx Web Portal inside the property record.

To access them:

1. Log in to the Cyprexx Web Portal.

2. Access the property record.

3. Under the 'Services' tab, locate the Winterization or service line.

3. Use the gear icon to open the drop-down menu and select Show Winterization Checklist page.

Once you have completed the checklist, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page to submit the checklist to Cyprexx. The assigned coordinator will be notified that the checklist is ready to be reviewed.

 

16. Winterizations: Proceed with Caution

Our client may or may not request that a winterization be performed at a property in order to protect the asset from water or freeze damage. The FIRST thing to consider is whether or not our client would like the asset to be winterized. Always refer to your Work Order for details and contact your coordinator with any questions.

Assuming our client DOES want a winterization performed, you would then determine whether or not any of the following conditions exist:

  • Overhead/Fire sprinkler system
  • Damage to plumbing system (visible breaks, etc.)
  • Plumbing repairs in process
  • Complex or  heating systems such as Hydronic (hot water baseboard), Steam, Geothermal, etc.

 

You are to immediately STOP and contact your coordinator if you encounter any of the above conditions.

16a. Winterizations: Heating System Type and Utilities Status

After you have determined that you are authorized to proceed, you will need to determine the type of heating system and the status of the utilities.

  • The type of heating system in place i.e. Wet (boiler/furnace) or Dry (forced air)
  • Status of the Utilities
    • Is the Power available?
    • Is the Water available? Is it "City" or "Well"?

Once you have determined the type of heating system and status of the utilities, report the information to your coordinator and proceed as directed.

 

16b. The Winterization Checklist

When performing a Winterization, you are required to complete and submit a Winterization Checklist (WCL). This form documents the steps of the Winterization and any details relating to the task at hand.

It is vital that you complete this form as accurately and as thoroughly as possible.

 Your photos should always portray what you are reporting on the WCL. (For example,  if you notated on the WCL that the power is OFF, your photos will not show any illuminated light bulbs.)

Example:

 

Photos

1. Photos: What You Should Know

You are required to submit Before, Action, and After photos for each task completed. Photos should be clear and After photos should be taken from the same angle as the Before photos so they can be easily compared.

Photos must include:

  • a visible date-stamp
  •  EXIF data (camera and scene information i.e. date, time, etc. embedded into the image file) 

(Use of the Pruvan app satisfies both of these requirements automatically.)

Take as many photos as you feel are appropriate in order to document the work you performed, however, please do not submit an excessive amount of photos. You may choose to store the 'extra' photos in case they are needed later.

Always refer to photo requirement documents on the Cyprexx web portal. The most recent document pertaining to photo requirements can be found on the Cyprexx web portal under the 'Messages' tab (see below).

Penalties may be assessed for missing/late photos so always contact your assigned Cyprexx coordinator if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. MAXIMIZE Your Photos

You can 'Maximize' your photos by capturing multiple items in a single photo, there by reducing the overall amount of photos that you take/submit. For example, the Before photo  shown below actually documents four things:

1. the condition of the garage interior

2. the trash cans are presumably empty and stored properly (upside down)

3. the electrical panel is present and closed/covered properly

4. the garage door opener is present and unplugged