Our Property Preservation team provides a full range of field services which are designed around each client’s requirements. We are continually focused on creating greater efficiencies with our technology (Visneta.com) in our property preservation process, resulting in faster turn times and reduced error. Our processes are built around controls to ensure the highest level of quality is achieved on each property. A mix of both independent contractors and in-house employees aid projects consistently meeting standards and client service level requirements. Our goal is to maintain properties so they appear indistinguishable from owner occupied properties.
Initial Securing of the Asset
An initial secure is the client’s first request for any preservation at a property. An initial securing work order may consist of one or more of the following service items:
-Boarding within Pre-Approved zones
-Exterior Debris Removal
-Health Hazard Removal
-Grass Cut (in season)
-Winterization (in season)
And one or more of the following reporting requirements:
-Property Condition Report (PCR)
-Damage Report including an “eyeball” estimate to repair, if unable to provide bids
Assero automatically boards properties only in those areas under the governing guidelines that grant pre-approval. Windows and doors will be boarded according to industry guidelines and work order specifications. Assero and their field crews will be aware of local codes or ordinances which require automatic boarding.
Window Reglazing and Replacement
Reglazing is often requested when windows are broken. Reglazing maintains the curb appeal of a property that is For Sale. Newer windows made of vinyl and aluminum may not be able to be reglazed and will be noted as such. Plexi-glass is prohibited when reglazing a window, as is the use of caulking to secure the glass. If a window is able to be reglazed a bid will be provided to complete this service.
The window will be bid to the same grade of window as currently on the rest of the property. Windows will be installed to the proper size and include all needed trim work. If windows must be special ordered, Assero will provide estimated delivery and installation date(s).
Debris is defined as: The scattered remains of something broken or destroyed: rubble, wreckage or carelessly discarded refuse: litter.
Exterior Debris is defined as:
Any debris located outside an enclosed structure on the property (i.e. tree limbs, grass clippings, bags of garbage, broken toys, tires, concrete block, construction debris, etc)
Interior debris is defined as:
Any debris located inside the living space on the property including attached/detached garages, attics, basements, crawl spaces, and outbuildings.
Interior debris, quantity, description and location will be reported and documented.
When a work order for a property requests abandoned vehicle removal, Assero will provide a bid with supporting photo documentation to properly remove and dispose of the vehicle(s). Documentation always includes VIN number, make/model, and License Plate.
It is difficult to have a precise definition for “personal property” as it is very much a legal term. Perhaps the best definition is: Property which can include any asset other than real estate. The distinguished factor is that personal property is movable. That is, the asset is not fixed permanently to one location, such as land or buildings. The responsibility to remove personal property is determined by the investor and/or State/County/Local guidelines. Personal property includes such items as tables, chairs, utensils, dishes, furniture, clothing, lawn furniture, swing sets, toys, electronics, tools, jewelry, collectibles, lawn and yard maintenance equipment, grills, unused construction materials, vehicles, firearms, etc.
Removal of hazardous materials is investor specific and the work order will be carefully reviewed to determine the requirements.
Hazardous materials include such items as raw garbage, broken glass, chemicals (description required), feces, household solvents (description required), car batteries, tires, oil, gasoline, dead animals, solvent-based and spray can paints, treated paint products over 5 gallons in volume (i.e. stain, shellac, varnish, wood preservatives, latex and oil based paints) roof coatings, driveway sealer, caulks, etc.
Grass Cut/Yard Maintenance
Initial and Re-cuts include:
-Mowing the lawn
-Edging and String Trimming
-Trimming of Shrubbery
-Sweeping all paved areas
-Removal of all clippings and incidental debris (bottles, newspapers, etc.)
-Accordance with local community guidelines and regulations.
-Trimmed around foundations, bushes, trees, planting beds, and fences
Pruning and Removing Trees
Tree removal and pruning back of branches is not required, unless the tree poses a threat to the property. If a tree branch is touching a roof or see a tree that is dead and is in danger of falling on the home, Assero will provide a bid to prune or remove the tree with a clear explanation of the situation.
Snow is required to be removed from the entry walk, porch, and driveway following a minimum of three inches in accumulation. Visneta tracks accumulation of snow and will automatically create a work order when minimum requirement is met.
Winterizations are performed to prevent freeze damage. They are completed according to guidelines and/or work order specifications. All winterizations must include a thorough and complete draining of all plumbing and heating systems, the use of air pressure to clear the system and addition of non-toxic anti-freeze to toilet bowls, tanks and all traps to prevent freezing. There are three types of winterization: dry, hot water and steam. Use only pink, non-toxic, RV anti-freeze (propylene-glycol). Never use any oil or alcohol based anti-freeze.
A dry heat winterization is performed on properties that are heated by gravity or forced air-heating systems. This system will be characterized by the presence of a furnace and air vents in the walls, floor, ceilings or baseboards.
Winterizing Properties with Fire Suppression Systems
Winterizations of the domestic plumbing system at properties containing fire suppression (sprinkler) systems will be performed. However, heat will be maintained in these properties to prevent freezing of the fire suppression system. If utility services are no longer activated please transfer utilities in order to maintain heat at the property. If winterization of the domestic plumbing system will cause the fire suppression system to fail or be damaged, do not perform the winterization and report accordingly in the update.
A winterization check is performed to ensure that the previously performed winterization is still intact. Often these work orders have instructions on what to do if the winterization has been compromised. All plumbing damages will be reported back with a bid to repair and pressure test the system.
Verify all valves and fixtures are closed
Restore water connection (water meter and/or at street)
Flush toilets and run water through traps to remove antifreeze
Verify hot water heater is operational
Remove winterization stickers throughout home
Assero DOES NOT recognize partial winterization. If a frozen or partially frozen system or missing/damaged fixtures prevent the completion of a winterization, Assero will provide a bid to thaw/repair and winterize the property. If temperatures are below freezing, a field crew will call from site to provide these bids whenever possible.
Some properties serviced by Assero have leaks/damages in the foundation that cause a significant volume of water to infiltrate the basement/crawlspace of the home. In order to prevent further damage, this water must be removed through the use of a pump.
Assero notes on each visit if a sump pump is present, Location, and Status of Electricity.
If Sump pump is on, verify sump pump is operational. If it is not operational, Assero will repair and/or replace.
If Sump pump is off, check for the information regarding transfer of electricity services. Field crews will notify from site.
Dehumidifiers are available in many sizes and have different draining options. Dehumidifiers are often installed in basements to lower moisture levels which could ultimately lead to mold growth. Assero has determined minimum standards that must be met when replacing dehumidifiers. Furnaces may contain dehumidifiers, typically in concert with the air conditioning unit. Verify the furnace does not contain a dehumidifier prior to providing bids for installation. If a dehumidifier is included as part of the furnace, verify that the furnace is operational and include this information within the work order results. Dehumidifiers will ONLY be NEW.
Pools and Hot Tubs
Some of the properties serviced include pools and hot tubs. These items require several types of service to maintain their current value and prevent danger to the community. Services include: securing, draining, cleaning, shocking, winterizing and boarding.
Roofing service includes four main services: tarping, sealing, patching and replacing. These services are necessary to stop roof leaks and prevent water damage. A property cannot have an active roof leak. Patching and replacement are being requested more frequently when addressing the elimination of roof leaks.
Tarping is considered a temporary repair. Assero will bid for a permanent repair if house will be in inventory greater than 30 days.
Roof sealing (sometimes referred to as coating) involves the use of tar to correct leaks or repair damaged areas. Tar can be used on roof seams, screw holes, flashing or an entire roof.
Roof patching is becoming a more requested method of repairing roof leaks.
Patching involves the use of typical roofing materials (i.e. felt paper, shingles, etc) to repair damages within as mall affected area.
Shingles used for patching will match the current shingle type and color of the property.
When roofs are damaged beyond repair, clients may request a bid to replace the entire roof. Only licensed roofing vendors to perform work to replace an entire roof.
Handrails and railings will be installed on the interior or exterior of the home:
If a handrail or railing was once present and was removed
If there are more than three risers and the stairs are open on both sides
If the absence of a railing will pose a safety risk
If the current handrail/railing is unstable
Material used must be for the specified purpose of being a handrail/railing
If the handrail/railing is installed on the exterior of the home, it will be made of exterior grade wood and will be painted in an exterior grade paint or stain that is complimentary to the home.
Capping Electrical Outlets/Wires
Exposed wires and open electrical outlets pose a safety risk to anyone that may enter the home. These items must be addressed.
Exposed wires must be capped
All open outlets will be covered with outlet covers
Open switches must be covered with switch plates
Use of tape or wood to cover these openings and cap the wires is not acceptable
Some homes may require painting of an area for reasons such as damage caused by vandalism. Use of the appropriate paint (interior versus exterior) is required.
An eviction is required when a property remains occupied after the mortgage holder has acquired title through the foreclosure process. The court, in conjunction with a local law enforcement agency, determines the date and time of the eviction. Eviction orders will require the lock out of the mortgagor and may include the removal of debris at the direction of the local law enforcement representative that is present. After completion of the eviction order, a separate order will be issued to complete additional services such as winterization, yard maintenance and debris removal.
Conveyance vs. Marketable Condition
As the mortgage servicing industry requires evolving standards by clients to accommodate the new industry standards. More and more we have begun requesting to have properties placed into marketable condition rather than conveyance condition. The word marketable can be defined as, fit to be offered for sale. This means that the home must be in a condition which will allow it to be sold within the current real estate market in which it is located. In order to place a property in “marketable” condition, general repair and/or “cosmetic” work is often required.