11 always amazes me how a professionally applied industrial-strength cleaning can dramatically improve any property's appearance. And that is exactly why I told you in Chapter 14 to always include a clause in your option agreement that gives you the right to enter and clean the property during the option period. You must give a property under option an old-fashioned industrial-strength cleaning to:
1. Make the property more visible and accessible to prospective buyers passing by.
2. Keep vandals, arsonists, homeless squatters, and drug addicts from gaining easy access to the property.
3. Maximize the property's curb appeal.
4. Increase the property's resale value.
If you followed my advice in Chapter 13, you should have negotiated a $500 cleaning credit, which the owner deducted from the option fee. The cleaning credit is to help investors defray property cleanup costs. And depending on the property's size and condition, most of my cleanups run from $500 to $1,200. For example, it usually costs me right around $500 to have a vacant three-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-family house cleaned up. This includes trash removal, lawn mowing, tree trimming, and pressure washing. I spend between $500 and $1,200 for an industrial-strength cleaning on a vacant piece of commercial property. I use a father and son team, who specialize in clearing lots, hauling trash, pressure washing, and making buildings secure. My guys are experienced professionals with state-of-the-art equipment, who work fast and charge reasonable rates. But most importantly, they do the job right the first time and I do not have to babysit them.
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