The most difficult task of the interior BPO can be gaining access into the home. The property may either be vacant or occupied by tenant or homeowner. If vacant, the home generally has a lock box or supra key. If occupied, an appointment must be set to enter. In order to gain access for either case you must contact the real estate agent overseeing the property. Your local MLS will have their contact information, or the valuation company should provide it. That agent will provide codes to lock boxes or offer to set up an appointment with either themselves, the homeowner, or in some instances both. Most valuation firms will pay real estate agents $65-$75 per interior BPO for the extra work involved.
Tips & Tricks For Photographing an Interior BPO
1. Don’t delay
Valuation companies usually allow up to 72 hours to perform an interior BPO and you will get paid one and a half times as much as an exterior. The problem lays in the fact that gaining access to the property is sometimes out of your control when a third party is involved. Avoid procrastination and set the appointment well ahead of the due date. If the realtor has to cancel then you still have time to reschedule and complete the interior BPO on time.
2. Be firm and in control
Always remember you are working for the valuation company, not the realtor. When contacting the realtor in charge of the property, be assertive in scheduling appointments. If you have to meet with the realtor or homeowner, inform them when you will be in the area to perform the interior BPO rather than asking what time they are available. This method will work the majority of the time. You can keep your sanity by controlling multiple appointments throughout the day. Most agents are willing to bend to your schedule because they cannot receive a commission without you completing the interior BPO.
3. Politely ignore the realtor
If you are meeting with the realtor, chances are they have prepared a 10 page summary of data and documentation on why the property should be valued at the low end of the market. You will most likely receive a CMA and exaggerated repair estimates for the home. They will talk your ear off during the whole inspection to try to manipulate the interior BPO value. Inspect the house yourself and only note what you observe personally. Don’t just take their word for it. They are only pushing you to value the interior BPO low so the bank approves their short sale and they walk away with a commission.
4. Take note of visible damages
An interior BPO will need to address both interior and exterior repairs. It’s very important to photograph and document all damages. The lender will want to see the report reflect what is visible in the pictures. Repairs will ultimately affect the as-is value of the interior BPO. Make note of any repairs in the report when they are present in the home.
5. Double check your work
The valuation companies are pretty meticulous when it comes to photographs. If any pictures are missing or unclear they will require you to go back and take what you missed. You will lose a lot of time rescheduling an interior BPO and the other realtor won’t be a happy camper. This is not practical so re-check the pictures in your camera to make sure you have what you need before you leave.
Generally, you should complete the report portion of the interior BPO after taking photographs of the home. Implementation of this method will result in more accurate as-is values if you personally observe the home and neighborhood prior to performing the report. In addition, the inspection will also be fresh in your memory.
To perform an interior BPO report, you must search for six comparable homes (comps) in the immediate area of the subject. Three comps must be sale comps; the other three must be listing comps. The selection of comps is determined using a variety of similarities to the subject property. These similarities may include size, age, and location to name a few. Adjustments on interior reports are also necessary and important for arriving at an accurate as-is value.
Interior orders are more work than exteriors but are ultimately more money. The main differences between the two reports will be obtaining access into the house and reporting the damages which may be found inside or outside the home. Easy enough for an additional $25.