There used to be a time when I knew what to expect when I inspected a bank owned home. A couple years ago when I was interviewing a potential client for a Metro Detroit Home Inspection I would schedule extra time if they told me the home was bank owned. Often times these properties were in excessive disrepair so I knew it would take time to document the condition. Most of the time the buyer would tell me right off that they knew the home needed a good amount of work but they just want to be sure there are no "big problems" before they move forward with the purchase.That last part has not changed to this day. Buyers still want to know the property condition with particular interest in significant issues.
The difference I am seeing these days is most of the bank owned homes I am inspecting are in decent condition as far as homeowner maintenance. Once in a while I do find a home stripped of copper or seriously lacking proper maintenance, but for the most part they appear to have been decently maintained by the previous owner. Last year a Realtor told me banks are offering a cash incentive to sellers who turn in their key without damaging the home. I know it still happens but I'm not inspecting many homes with evidence of damage from malicious previous owners.
So if an owner turns in their property without kicking in the walls etc. why won't the banks do their part in ensuring the property remains in livable condition? Turing off the utilities when there is a sump pump installed will more than likely result in a flooded basement. Frozen plumbing supply lines seems to be the norm these days because banks can't or won't have the home properly winterized. The end result is a home that was taken care of by the previous owner now needing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs.
What am I missing here?