Thanks to Lorrie Eheart who is the Vice President of Evictions at Integrated Asset Services - for the being the catalyst for this Blog post and video...

When we get assigned an asset from a Real Estate Owned Management company, direct bank or a specific Asset Manager, the handling of said asset is always done in steps.

Make the Asset Manager's job easierOne of the steps, usually not the first, is for the assigned agent to complete a BPO, aka:  Broker Price Opinion.  This is a prepared report that falls short of the "measuring and permit pulling" aspect of an appraisal.

In Preparation for the BPO, we need photographs.  I should say that we don't need photos, the Asset's Representatives need photos.  They are usually many states away and do not have "ease of access" to the subject property.  That is where We, the Real Estate agents, come into play.

It is not as simple as getting a phone call out of the blue.  You need to have established a track record with regard to you knowing what you are doing when handling Real Estate Owned assets.

I'm off the soapbox and back to the Photographs.  

We are using our camera and photos taken of each asset as an artist would use paint and canvas. 

The picture is a total overview of the subject property.  Unlike a "typical" real estate listing that an agent might shoot, the rooms, kitchen, and exterior.

A proper Exterior format for the photos of a Bank Owned Asset include the following areas with specific emphasis to each.

  • Exterior "front" photo.
  • Exterior "front-Right side" photo - to establish depth.
  • Exterior "front-Left side" photo - to establish depth.
  • "Street Scene" - this are three other photos that depict the properties across the street and down the streets in each direction.  I usually walk to the middle of the street in front of the home and shoot in all 4 directions - turning 90 degrees after each photo.
  • Verification of Street Name sign.
  • Verification of Address numerics.
  • Exterior - A full Back Photo, if room allows, if not, split the scene.
  • Exterior - Both Sides to establish depth to the front of the property
  • *Damage - See Below...

To execute proper internal Photos of a Bank Owned Property one must get descriptive in narritave form and adhere to the following list:

  • Entry Photos - including door, door jam, porch, door closed and door open.
  • All Interior Rooms - Shooting from each opposite corner.  Align the left frame edge on the wall on your left side - shoot entire room.  Cross the room, turn around and repeat.
  • Kitchens - including appliances that are in place or spaces where appliances were removed.
  • Hallways
  • Stairways
  • Fireplaces - close, noting gas, wood, electric, or all three etc.
  • Bathrooms - Toilets and fixtures - including bathtub / shower shots.
  • *Damage - See Below...
In addition - the Banks want a "focal point" an outstanding positive feature or an outstanding negative feature to the Asset Manager can better understand the subject property:
Outstanding Positive Features can include:  Descriptive accounting of Views, not just Great View - but what is it a Great View of?  There is a public park behind the back fence of the subject property.  Located on the 14th hole of a Private Golf Course...
Outstanding Negative Features can include:  Located on a 99year land lease community.  Property has several illegal additions.  Property smells like formaldehyde in the master bedroom and basement :-)
*Property Damage needs to be noted by descriptive photos and narratives:
Examples are:  Dry rot located in the under eave part of the roof in front of entrance door.  Toilet in Master Bathroom was removed.  Bathtub in downstairs bathroom is not draining, apparent concrete residue in tub.  Hole in Bedroom #3 door - 3"X4".
When uploading photos for a Broker Price Opinion - please take these factors into account so the Asset Manager will have a full understanding of the subject property.
When we first started with the banks that utilize our team to handle their Foreclosure Assets, technology was no where at today's level.
Regarding the Camera We use.  Shooting stills can be done by a Phone - but I don't recommend it.  AM's can tell when you are using cheesy technology to photograph their assets.
I use a Kodak camera with two lenses that allow for super wide angle photos.
I use a Kodak Zi8 for the video's, with an external lapel mic so I can record audio during the walk through.  This need not be "Hollywood" quality, just make sure you don't trip.  There is true entertainment value in a trip and fall, as I have been told...
Our Asset Managers are used to me doing a video walk through of each asset and uploading the video to my Personal Video Upload Platform (so it is not in the public view ever...).  I supply a narrative and it gives the asset managers a much deeper understanding.  Food for Thought...