MLS Comp Photos
Using MLS photographs for comparable sales…
In its September 2017 Bulletin, Freddie Mac updated its appraisal requirements. One change worth noting is the use of MLS photographs for comparable sales. Freddie Mac now allows copies of MLS photographs to be used for comparable sales without an explanation from the appraiser. While most appraisers welcome this change, others believe that this is another step to remove the appraiser from the process.
One appraiser commented:
“Anyone that thinks this is great should think about the long term. Freddie is now saying you don’t need your own pictures to prove you did an exterior inspection of the property. Next Freddie will say a google maps drive by is sufficient as long as it still represents the current condition. Next step the AMC’s pay a field inspector $25 to inspect the property and their in house appraiser appraises the property. This is bad news for those who are in urban areas inundated by amc. This is the begining to the end of your job as an independent appraiser.”
Another one stated:
You still need to inspect the comp from the street, how is using MLS photographs going to save time?
And this appraiser explained:
Inspecting the comp, IMO, is part of confirming data. MLS photographs don’t tell the whole truth and agents certainly aren’t always forthcoming, though I’ll say the buyers agent is usually more honest than the sellers agent. Inspecting comps isn’t perfect, but neither are MLS photographs and conversations with agent, but when all three are done, you have done your due diligence when it comes to verifying data.
APPRAISAL REQUIREMENTS CHANGES BY FREDDIE MAC
- Using multiple listing service photographs for comparable sales
Previously, copies of MLS photographs could be used for comparable sales only if the original photographs could not be obtained. Additionally, an explanation was required by the appraiser as to why MLS photographs were being used.
To provide flexibility and create efficiency in the appraisal and underwriting processes, we are removing these requirements and now allow clear electronic images, including copies of MLS photographs, to be used for comparable sales without an explanation from the appraiser.
- Trainee and supervisory appraisers
In response to Seller inquiries we are specifying that an unlicensed or trainee (or similar classification) appraiser may perform and sign an appraisal report in accordance with State law. We are also specifying that an unlicensed or trainee (or similar classification) appraiser may perform a completion report as long as a supervisory appraiser also signs the completion report.
Loan Product Advisor has been updated to reflect this change.