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Old 10-17-2010, 03:33 PM
Ariba's Avatar
Ariba Ariba is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Colorado
State: Colorado
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 2,446
Default Homeowners Reaction to Interior Photos

With the Fannie Mae announcement that they require specific interior photos of: the kitchen, all bathrooms, and main living areas, when you set-up the appointment do you, as an appraiser, give a heads-up to the homeowner? Have you received any feedback from the homeowners about taking photos? How about sensitive areas; gun room, safe room, hiden room, etc.

The reason that I am asking is that many of the homeowners are embarrassed about the condition of their home and said that they would have clean the mess if they knew I was going to take pictures.

I always take photos of every room including bedrooms, basements, garage, deferred maintenance, etc. So far I have not encountered any problems.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:37 PM
Thomas Fiehler Thomas Fiehler is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati,OH
State: Ohio
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 3,367

I also take photos of every room and when I call to schedule the appointment I let the people know that I will need to come inside, tour the house and photograph EVERY room. That cuts down on surprises.
Old 10-17-2010, 03:37 PM
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CANative CANative is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Ukiah, CA
State: California
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 47,240

I don't give them a heads up. Even during the inspection. After measuring and photographing the exterior I do the interior inspection drawing the walls, labeling rooms, writing down notes, etc. When I'm done I take a second walk through taking photos real fast. They don't have time to get upset (at least while I'm there.)

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Old 10-17-2010, 03:56 PM
Jo Ann Meyer Stratton's Avatar
Jo Ann Meyer Stratton Jo Ann Meyer Stratton is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Safford, Arizona
State: Arizona
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 6,326

I have been taking interior photos ever since I got a digital camera that would hold more than 30 photos (my first digital camera), I never have had a home owner object, although they do mutter about wishing that were better housekeepers. I also tell them that only some of the photos will be in the final report, they rest are for my file because I have to able to answer questions five to seven years from now about the property.
Old 10-17-2010, 03:56 PM
Denis DeSaix Denis DeSaix is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Northern California
State: California
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 15,188

I have a pre-printed notice which I hand out when I inspect the property. It is one page and has two components.
The first component describes the GSE requirements for photos. I write that I will not take the photo if borrower directs me not to, but such action may impact the loan process (in other words, I'm not going to take an interior photo when the owner tells me "no"; but the owner is on notice that without the photo, the loan process may be stopped).

The second component states that the new FINREG provides for borrowers to receive a copy of the appraisal 3-days prior to closing and if the borrower has any questions about the appraisal, they need to direct it to the lender, not call us. (This was brought up as a suggestion during Rich Heyn's presentation on the FINREG changes; I thought it was a good one and I followed the advice).

Of course, I like to think the wording is consumer-orientated and professional, so the written style of the notice is more informative and helpful rather than a directive (you must do this and cannot do that). But, in summary, I'm communicating:
A. I'm required to take photos. If you don't want me to, then your loan process may stop. It is your call.
B. There is a good chance you are going to get a copy of the appraisal before the closing. If you do, and see something that bothers you, there is a procedure to deal with that: that procedure is to call your lender. Do not call me because I will not be able to deal directly with you.

So far, the reception to the notice has been neutral to favorable.
Old 10-17-2010, 05:02 PM
Tom Woolford Tom Woolford is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nature Coast
State: Florida
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 5,450

Originally Posted by Jo Ann Meyer Stratton View Post
I have been taking interior photos ever since I got a digital camera that would hold more than 30 photos (my first digital camera), I never have had a home owner object
My experience exactly. I got into the habit of taking interiors on every assignment 20 years ago because I had one client that required them, and forgot half the time, so I just started taking them on all of them. The number increased with digital photos, and a lot reside in my files, "just in case"
Some mornings, its just not worth chewing through the restraints.
Old 10-17-2010, 05:15 PM
Brian Weaver Brian Weaver is offline
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Location: Chicago area
State: Illinois
Professional Status: Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
Posts: 2,516

Face it. The ones who apologize for the mess are generally tidy housekeepers. The ones who look like they just emerged from an episode of "Hoarders"...seldom even notice the fact that the livingroom looks as if their laundry hamper exploded.
Old 10-17-2010, 05:34 PM
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Pilgrum Pilgrum is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
State: Nevada
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 2,875

I alway let them know ahead that I will be taking pictures.
I have had them clean before my arrival and still had barely enough room to walk through. Others have apologized for needing to clean a home that was already immaculate. Then there was the one I was unable to get past the front door because of the smell.
Old 10-17-2010, 06:19 PM
Dean Dean is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Farmington
State: Tennessee
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 1,081

I've never given a heads up and have never in 12 years had anyone object to me taking pictures.
The first rule of Fraudfighter club is: they are right, always, and you know nothing, ever.
Old 10-17-2010, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Last edited by ZZGAMAZZ : 10-17-2010 at 07:02 PM. Reason: duplicte post
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