Okay, a recent new listing caught me unprepared, and I learned a thing or two that I want to share...
First, always expect the worst when you go to enter a property for the first time. If it isn't so bad, you'll be thrilled, but if it is and you're not ready for it...
I carry the following things in my trunk all the time. Feel free to add to the list, if I am missing something...
Bug repellent- spray liberally all over your shoes and pant legs before stepping onto the property. I know some agents who carry big trash bags and put them over their feet/legs before going in. I haven't tried it, but I guess the fleas can't hang on...
Rubber gloves, preferably the kind doctors and nurses wear. Be careful what you touch!
Vick's Vaporub to dab under your nose to help block the smell of some of your more "seasoned" REOs..
List of all emergency contact numbers for the town/county you're in. Keep your cell phone handy!
I take both my digital cameras and extra batteries. I Also make sure I take my car keys in with me and lock the car doors.
Dog snacks. I learned recently that having something to throw down to a starving dog (who has been locked inside for who-knows-how-long after the occupants moved out) really slows them down a bit, then they are a lot more friendly to you, and less likely to see you as food!.
Extra clothes and shoes, and a plastic bag to put the old ones in, should bugs, odors or other "stuff" get on your first outfit.
Flashlight. Tape measure or laser measurer.
A "buddy," if the neighborhood or property appears to be occupied or dangerous in any manner. Some agents I know always carry a gun, as well.
Common sense! If a property looks dangerous, you see something or someone suspicious, or those little alarm bells are ringing in your head, leave! get someone else, preferably a cop, to return with you.
In short, a lot of the things we run into doing foreclosures is irritating and an inconvenience (fleas, filth, terrible smells), but others can be dangerous (rotting floors, starving pit bulls, meth labs). Pay attention and go prepared, and you are less likely to run into something you can't deal with!