Over the past few months I have posted several comments about BPO's. Well here is another in which I am going to vent just a smidge. The problem I have is not in doing them but the variation from one source to another. You would think that whether it is vendor A or Vendor Z the criteria would be standard. But as many of you know that is simply NOT the case. Let me start with a few of the variations that I've seen.
Company A requires Comp's to be no older than 90 days: While company B will accept nothing less than 6 months. Company C doesn't offer any guidance but screams if the comp is over 6 months old...go figure! Next there is the issue of home styles traditional vs. a Bungalow or Cottage, Contemporary and so on. Individual interpretation of these architectural styles varies on the training and experience of the individual on the other end resulting in the proverbial difference of opinion in which you as the provider will have to resolve if you want to be paid or the listing. This brings me to the issue of square footage, Company A permits a 10% variance while Company B and C respectively allow a 5 and 15% variance plus or minus. Next we have the issue of the distance from the subject. Within several blocks, is grand, 1 mile is maximum or is it 10 miles? Oh and My favorite issue is the address... Yep, something as simple as the address particularly if it is a rural address with a Rural Route Number. Have you ever tried to find one of those from the Post Office or 911 services which ever or in at least one case I recall it took both to figure out where a specific piece of "Wheelestate" was located. But I guess the best one was when I had to call the developer, when neither the Post Office nor the 911 system could provide me an address other than the Rural Route Box.... Go Figure that one!
Here in Southeast Georgia many of the properties are located in rural areas where the closest comp may be miles away and may not have sold within any time limit that is acceptable to anyone. I guess that all of these inconsistencies are due to the primary models for the majority of these companies are Urban and they are generated in geographic areas that are significantly more dense such as California, Denver Colorado or the Eastern Corridor. Whatever the case, it is somewhat daunting at times to know what is acceptable when dealing with the multiple firms that are dealing with all the foreclosures.
At this point you are probably wondering "If BPO's are such a problem, why do you do them"? The answer is totally related to the status of the current market. With the current status of the market being soft, it is my belief that marketing foreclosures is an effective means of addressing the current condition. As you may realize people with money and solid credit are continuing to purchase property. Plus you continue to have those folks who are continually looking for bargains and for sure they are out there. Meaning that the old adage could not be more appropriate at this time. That Adage being "buy when the market is down" in doing so you will be well positioned when the recovery begins. So having an inventory of good foreclosures will serve you well now and in the future.