.. I don't have experience cleaning foreclosed homes but I have an ex who did. And these are the things that I know about cleaning out foreclosed homes.
1. Usually the previous owners left most of their belongings in the homes. That means beds, dressers, couches, tables--heavy items. People assume that since no one lives there anymore that there will be few to no belongings. But when the authorities show up to evict them, they have only a short time to get out and usually only take what they need, not what they want.
2. The homes didn't always belong to 'normal' people. My ex often had to clean out houses that had drug-use items (needles, lighters, pipes) which is not only a personal health hazard but has to be cleaned with extreme care.
3. The homes may be in bad condition and have bad upkeep. Some of the houses that the occupants knew were going into foreclosure no longer took care of the house because they were losing it anyways. Which meant there were rats, mice, roaches and he would have to carry an extra change of clothes and have to throw away the ones he was wearing.
4. People who are homeless sometimes see a foreclosed home as a place to temporarily stay. My ex had to get a right to carry permit to carry a firearm on him because homeless people would end up finding a way to break into the house to stay. There were many times that he would enter a house that claimed to be secure and there would be someone inside the home.
5. They usually had 3-4 large sized men to each home to be able to clear out all the items.
6. They also were expected to mow the lawn, clear yards, and to check all the plumbing and pipe lines. They also had to winterize the plumbing so that the pipes would not freeze in colder weather.
7. They drove pick-up trucks and large trailers to each job to be able to transport all the items. There were instances where people had left vehicles behind either in the garage or yard and they were expected to tow them. And you also have to be the one to dispose of all the items that you take from the home. They had to have an account at the local dump and would make a trip there every morning to empty their trailers. But for items that you cannot take to a dump, you have to have a place to store them (pole barn, garage, large yard).
8. Most times the bid for 'cleaning the foreclosed home' meant taking all the belongings off the property (house, yard, garage), wiping down all surfaces, mowing the yard, removing snow off the walkways, installing smoke detectors in each room (that you supply) and winterizing the plumbing if necessary. After all that was done, they had to take pictures of the whole property and all the work they'd done and send them to the bank.
9. Sometimes a deal was made so that the PB (personal belongings) had to be boxed up and saved in the home that the previous owner would be able to get after a certain amount of time. If it was not picked up after that time, then it would become your responsibility to dispose of them. So they had to box up belongings and leave them in the home and come back 30-60 days later to take them.
10. There were times that the family had not been evicted yet and when they showed up at the house the police were there. That meant they had to go to the door with the police and let the family know that they had x amount of time to take what they wanted and leave. They then had to wait for the family and then get to work. Most of the families didn't have another place to go and had children. It was hard for them to have to do that.
I don't mean to deter you or scare you from cleaning foreclosed homes but to make you aware of all the risks and work that come along with it. It may be different for other companies cleaning foreclosed homes but that was his experience with it.