Who is this stranger taking pictures of my house?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Tacoma

Hi! This is Nathan Olotoa with www.59days2sold.com and www.Seattleshortsalesagent.com and I specialize in short sales in the tacoma and seattle areas. Today I would like to answer a question that many people who are in distress may have. Who the heck is this stranger taking pictures of my house?

If you are currently attempting to short sale your home, do a loan modification, or you have simply missed a mortgage payment you may notice that, from time to time, someone will drive by or walk up and take pictures of your house. Don’t worry this is not someone staking out your house. What is most likely happening is your bank is trying to get an idea of the value of your home. This is called a BPO.

What is a BPO? It means Broker Price Opinion. Once you begin to miss mortgage payments or begin the short sale or loan modification process the bank starts to become proactive in attempting to figure out what you home might be worth. They do this by hiring Real Estate Brokers, like myself, to interpret the market, evaluate your home and find out what it may be worth in todays market.

There are two types of BPO’s. Exterior and Interior BPO’s. Exterior BPO’s are typically done once mortgage payments have been missed and can be done monthly thereafter until the home has been auctioned or taken back by the bank. Because these BPO’s are exterior the photos of the house or property can be take from the street and is legal as long as they do not trespass.

Interior BPO’s are done to understand the full scope of the subject homes condition. These are typically done when a short sale or a loan modification process has begun or if there is a pending contract on a short sale property. These are also done after auction once the bank takes over the property and prior to being put on the market as well. Most banks will do interior evaluations every 30 to 45 days thereafter in order to make any necessary price reductions to get the property sold.

So if you are beginning to see this type of activity around your house it is never to soon or to late to explore your options.

Thinking about a short sale? I can help you short sale your property and never pay the bank another penny. Send me an e-mail at asknate@kw.com. I will contact you for a free consultation.

When we talk, I will explain how the process works in detail and answer any questions you may have. Or, if you prefer, you can call me at 253-310-1177 Discover how other sellers successfully completed a short sale and request a free consultation by clicking here.

Thinking about a loan modification? Our loan modification kit has the instructions you will need to get a loan modification approved with your bank. Click here to request a copy.

Thanks for reading this, Nathan Olotoa.

Nathan is a Real Estate Broker at Keller Williams-Tacoma.

Short Sales Realtor: Phone: 253-310-1177. asknate@kw.com. Listed to Sold in 59 days or less View My homes for sale at 59days2sold.com.

And see all of my previous blogs at www.seattleshortsalesagent.com Short Sale Realtor. Short Sales. Realtor. Tacoma Short Sales. Seattle Short Sales. Loan Modifications. Avoid Foreclosure.

Comments (8)

Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I would think that the owners would be notified.... at this early stage it seems permission would have to be obtained.

Jan 20, 2011 02:40 PM
Nathan Olotoa
Keller Williams Realty Tacoma - Tacoma, WA

You would think, but as someone who has done thousands of these BPO's I can tell you that most of the time the banks request that you do not make contact with borrower.  As you probably know it is impossible to not be seen a percentage of the time, so it does get a little hairy when you have to explain to a tenant or owner occupant why you are taking photos of their house.

Of course if the bank request an interior BPO then contact must be made in order to gain access, unless it is vacant and listed on the MLS.

Jan 20, 2011 02:55 PM
David Spencer
Keller Williams Northland - Kansas City, MO
Show Me real estate in Kansas City

I had someone chase me, did not know he was there, for 5 miles because I took a picture of his house for a BPO.

Jan 20, 2011 03:21 PM
Nathan Olotoa
Keller Williams Realty Tacoma - Tacoma, WA

Wow!  That is pretty Scary.  I hate getting approached especially in questionable neighborhoods. Seems as though you made it out alright.

Jan 20, 2011 03:28 PM
Krista Lombardi
Prudential Calfornia Realty - San Diego, CA

I've done some BPOs in the past and have been confronted by the home owner and I must say it's a hit or miss on on how the owner is going to ract. It can be good but more often than not it isn't great.

Jan 20, 2011 04:13 PM
Nathan Olotoa
Keller Williams Realty Tacoma - Tacoma, WA

My experience is some are outraged and some are just curious.  Either way I try to explain as gently as possible why am there and if they have any other questions they should contact there bank.

See my previous blogs at www.seattleshortsalesagent.com or right here on active rain.

Jan 21, 2011 08:54 AM

Honestly, I just had this happen to me. You wanna come to my house to take pictures for some legitimate survey then just ask so. But if you set foot on my property without my consent, then your foot ain't leaving with you.

Oct 11, 2011 03:59 PM

I am only a month behind on my payment... Some lady came to my house today while my husband and I were sitting in the garage and started taking pictures of my house so I got up and asked what she was doing, she then handed me an envelope with a telephone number on it and told me to call my bank... and continued taking pictures, and I told her that if the bank sent her then thats fine but hshe could have knocked on the door and said soemthing obviously we were home I mean this lady had no qualms about walking right to my porch to take a pic of my address or the side of my home to take a photo of the sidding!... I told her that technically she had no right to walk on my property to take photos and she said that she did cuz technically i dont own the property and I told her she could take pictures from the street to which she told me that she has every right to walk on my property cuz I dont have a NO TRESPASSING SIGN.. I  was like OMG seriously.. get your pictures and get out of here before I call the police.; She literally just made herself at home all over my yard with out even so much as saying who she was, no name, no id, no nothing!.. boy am I MAD! I will be getting NO trespassing signs and next time i catch someone on my property from the bank with out showing who they are, i will call the police and I will be filing a complaint with my mortgage company!

Aug 25, 2013 12:34 PM