Why Appraisers Love MLS Photos

by Michael Bolton on November 1, 2011

Appraisers Love Pictures

The other day I ran across a great post by Jenifer Owens about writing descriptions for listings. And that got me thinking about how important descriptions, and pictures, are too real estate appraisers. Our MLS service only allows for 8 short lines of description, 4 for the public, and 4 for the agents, and that’s not nearly enough room to give an accurate description.

As you can see there is a world of difference between these two outbuildings. Both MLS listings indicated something to the effect that each property had a “great outbuilding”, which, as you can see there is a dramatic difference between the two in relation to value. If an appraiser isn’t able to ascertain the difference between them, this could greatly affect the amount of the adjustment between the two, and could result in a lower appraised value.

Bank REO’s, and short sales, is where an increase in the number of photo’s (both interior and exterior) helps greatly. Many times the description reads, “Needs TLC”, or, “Handyman Special”, which can mean anything, and with no photo’s it’s hard to figure out the condition so the appropriate adjustments can be made.

Once, one of my appraisals was being reviewed, and the lender wanted to know why I didn’t use a particular sale; if I hadn’t been able to show them pictures of that comparable sale that showed a gutted kitchen, then they would of required that I use that sale, which would of ultimately lowered the value of my appraisal.

Bottom Line: Pictures help appraisers tremendously; we look for and see many things in pictures, which help us create better appraisals.

If you have any questions, or real estate appraisal needs (divorce, bankruptcy, tax appeal, or estate planning) please contact Michael at 612.599-2581, or use the form on the contact page.

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