1) how do I find out a homes Style?
2) What is the best way to describe The subject property? Best way to describe subject neighborhood?
3) And where do you get the stats or statistics of the neighborhood?
4) Should we use absorption rates? Is so can you give me an example on how you would write it out.       5) what are the BPO Companies that pay $50.00 & up for exterior BPO's.

I am in Los Angeles 

Thank you everyone!!!

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  • William, send me your email address and I will forward you a guide on home styles. 


    Irma Lubin

    • Thank you Irma

      • Wiliam look back a few answers---I gave a general list of styles. Your local board or MLS should be able to give you the same type of info. You can also use a search engine to look up styles. Dude, again dont overthink it!  I use 'ranch' or two story' for almost everything. Once in a while  I use 'split leve'l or 'more than two levels'.  4500 BPOs and its never been a problem.


        Something I dodnt think I mentioned above---regarding adjusting for number of bedrooms, I dont think there is much of a 'desire value' between 3 and 4 BRs. Consequently, I almost never adjust for those. The smaller the GLA, the more it matters and I will between 2s and 3s.  There is usually a GLA difference between a 3 and 4 so I adjust for GLA by a set dollar amount per sq ft correlated to our local costs. Remember extra sq feet are not as expensive as the original per foot cost of the home because that included everything from foundation to fixtures. I use about $28 for condos and smaller or inexpensive homes, $38 for medium value homes and $55 for the large custom homes in expensive areas. Its never been questioned by any BPO review.  On multi bedrooms homes such as 4,5,6 and 7 bedrooms, again very few buyers will have need for tat many bedrooms. Unless its a specialized home meant for resi care or to appeal to big families, its all just GLA

  • William,

    Please, please, please take some classes.  If you are not experienced in BPO's then you are not doing the Client justice with false data.  Inexperienced agents doing BPO's lower the rate for us that are experienced and can provide true factual data to the client.  If you do not want to do classes, I recommend you "shadow" and experienced agent that can show you the correct, legal and ethical way to do them.  Good Luck!

  • The style question is one of common sense.  In my location most homes are ranch, cape, split level, 2 story or double-wide.  Experience and learning by doing is the key. 

    With regards to fees, many companies will negotiate if you can conditionally accept or state your fee in the reason for rejecting an order.  I don't start my engine for anything less than $60, though I am in a rural area. 

  • To conclude, it aint rocket science, dont over think it. What you really need to know is how to quickly navigate each companies input form. Some are flat out stupid. Dont know who put them together but they are not laid out well. Some have spaces only for basics and you cant explain much. Others are wild with literally dozens of fields that uou mst place a zero in if they dont apply. That takes a lot of time.


    I use two screens. Form on one, comps on the other.  When copying my comps out of the MLS, I dont do all 6 on one pdf. I do the solds on their own and lists on their own. Its easier to scroll three pages up and down than a 6 page pdf and possibly mix them up.I make a file with the address, then import the pdf solds, the pdf listings, the MLS ain sheet if any and the TAX statement. Many time the TAX statement is different that current or prior MLS info, and the company goes by TAX. Sometimes that is not correct and you must tell them why. Keep all you photos in that file.  Start an OPEN BPO file to keep them all in. Start a TO CLOSE BPO file to keep the finished one in. Then a CLOSED BPO for the finals Name them all by STREET NAME, DIRECTION (SW, etc) STREET NUMBER, BPO COMPANY (abbreviation-like CC for Clear Cap) then the miles in round trip which you have mapquested and finally the fee to you. Overkill? NOPE. Why? To use to build your excel spreadsheet to track everything you do. As you finish one, move it to  TO CLOSE. Each week open your spreadsheet that has the headings, Address, Order date, submitted date, miles, fee, paid date, bpo company. Enter in all those files from TO CLOSE, then move those files to CLOSED. The spread sheet is VITAL!!!!!!!!!!  You can track how long its been since the submission to see if tey owe you. Of course it keeps a running total of your MILES for IRS purposes.


    Regarding the two screens, I open the MLS or pdf comp pages on the left and have the bpo form on the right. Using my mouse, I rapidly cut and paste all info from the forms and copy into the bpo form fields on the right. Many times you will have all six comps laid out beside each other instead of three up then three below. In caseslike that, I go to all the fields that will be obvious and the same. such as 'TYPE. Usually thats a drop down. You right hand click it open and left hand hit S for SFR, etc. You go left to right. Same with condition if they are all good. click and hit G all the way over. Do that to all thse types of fields and you are rapidly through with most of the form then you can start cutting and pasting GLA, MLS number, addres etc. You almost never need to type anything! At first Id print out all the listings, keep six pages on my desk and type all that stuff into the bpo form. Yuck.  Using this method I can do fifty a day if I had the orders.


    Other tricks: Some sites want the pictures to be lower quality so they load faster. Even if they dont, to use lowest resolution on your camera results in faster loading photos AND takes less space when stored in your drive. You can BULK REDUCE all your photos for better space on your drive by using FastStone Image Resizer Its a free program.

    Some sites only do best with a certain browser. I hate Google and everything about it. They are a insidious invasion of privacy and work with the government. They are a monopoly of the worst kind, Download Firefox if a bpo company wont work with IE.  Pardon my typing/spelling Im using one hand today, hurt the other one. Already edited this about five times.

    • Thank you for all the info. Good info!!!!!

  • Join NABPOP, they are a great source of information.  I will be bringing my BPO Boot Camp 2 day course to California in the near future.  We are going through the CE approval process right now, once approved it will earn 12 hrs of CE.  Already approved in my state of Georgia, first class November 10 & 11.

    BPO Boot Camp Nov 10 & 11.pdf

    • Looking forward to it Thank's

  • Hope this comes through correctly, its a cut n paste

    This document lists conventional characteristics of common home styles. Individual houses

    may have elements from more than one style and not every home will have all the characteristics

    of a particular style. Use this document only as a guide.

    2 Story

    Listing Form Abbreviation: 2STORY

    A two-level home with the main entrance on the lower level. Upper

    spaces generally hold the sleeping areas.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: A-FRAME

    Has a peaked, high pitched roof line in the shape of an “A”. There are

    many variations: one story or two, one large room serving as living

    quarters, main living area in the shape of an A-frame with additional

    rooms, etc.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: BUNGALO

    A one- to one-and-one-half story structure with a gabled roof and a

    porch across the front.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: CABIN

    A small, one-story structure usually containing one or two rooms.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: CHALET

    A rustic style home featuring projected roofs, large windows and raised

    foundation. Rough-cut lumber is used.

    Cape Cod

    Listing Form Abbreviation: CAPECOD

    Has a steeply pitched gabled roof, framed as a one-story with an a

    tt ic

    conversion giving an additional one-half story.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: COLONIL

    A two-story in the traditional style, small casement windows, steeply

    pitched roof, may include columns across the front.

    Common Wall

    Listing Form Abbreviation: COMNWAL

    A one- or two-story residence connected to another residence by a wall.

    Any style is appropriate. Owner owns only the four walls of the dwelling

    and not the surrounding grounds.

    Country French

    Listing Form Abbreviation: CONT-FR

    Can be one- or two-story, formal in structure, steep hip roof, curved

    windows, sometimes with shu

    tt ers.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: CONTEMP

    Characterized by simple, unclu

    tt ered lines with a non-traditional design.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: COTTAGE

    Has a gabled roof line, but lower than the bungalow style, sash windows,

    and a plain front door. Front porch is either very small or non-existent.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: CRAFTSM

    Has a low pitched gabled roof with wide eaves and exposed rafters.

    Can be one- or two-story, with a decorative brace and full front porch.

    Daylight Ranch

    Listing Form Abbreviation: DAYRNCH

    A rambling ranch style home with a lower level basement that is partially

    exposed and above ground.

    Dutch Colonial

    Listing Form Abbreviation: DTCHCOL

    A variation of the traditional colonial style with a gambrel or mansard

    roof, sometimes a side wing.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: ENGLISH

    Has a steeply pitched roof, prominent cross gables and tall windows,

    can be half timbered.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: FARMHSE

    Featuring simple, uncomplicated construction, most have a front porch

    and are two-story.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: GEORGIN

    A formal square box-like structure featuring a hipped roof, decorative

    crown or pediment over the front door, columns on each side of the

    door, and/or cornice moldings.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: LOG

    A variety of styles are available, both in pre-designed kits and as homes

    designed by an architect. The primary distinguishing feature of a log

    home is the use of logs in its construction.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: DOME

    A ball- or sphere-like structure built with a complex network of various

    sizes of triangles.

    Double Wide

    Listing Form Abbreviation: DBL-WDE

    A manufactured home that is twice as wide as a single wide

    manufactured home.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: MODULAR

    Living units constructed in a factory and shipped to the building site to be erected. All home

    styles fall into this category. They are basically “stick built” homes and di

    ffi cult to identify. Not

    to be confused with the “manufactured/mobile” home.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: MANUFHS

    A single story dwelling constructed in a factory then transported to the

    home site. These can be single wide, double wide, and triple wide, and

    are usually constructed from metal,

    fi berglass, & plastics.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: MEDIT

    Can be one- or two-story with stucco siding. Wrought iron trim and

    arched windows are features of this style, and red tile roofs are common.

    Old Portland (Four Square)

    Listing Form Abbreviation: OLD-PDX

    A very distinctive style popular around the early 20th century. A large

    square box with low hipped roof and a deep overhang, full porch with

    wide stairs. Two- to two-and-one-half stories with a large central dormer.

    Mid-Century Modern

    Listing Form Abbreviation: MIDCMOD

    This style emphasized creating structures with ample windows and


    fl oor-plans with the intention of opening up interior spaces and

    bringing the outdoors in. Also known as Rummer.

    *Photo source: Modern Homes Portland (Marisa Swenson)


    Listing Form Abbreviation: PRAIRIE

    Characterized by low-pitched roofs with very wide overhanging eaves,

    a strongly emphasized horizontality, large hearths separating parts

    of the living-area, and the use of traditional materials. Also known as

    Frank Lloyd Wright style.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: RANCH

    A rambling single story, with simple construction, a large picture

    window, and a

    tt ached garage.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: TOWNHSE

    A two-story single family dwelling, part of a long and narrow structure

    with a similar structure adjacent, owner owns the lot as well as the

    structure. Exteriors may di

    ff er.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: TRAD

    An open design, not holding to a classic historic detail. Often uses a

    variety of more than one architectural characteristic from past styles.

    Split Level

    Listing Form Abbreviation: SPLIT

    A two-story home split at the entry with one set of stairs going up and

    another going to the lower level. Upper level is the main living area and

    the lower level consists of utility, garage and/or family room.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: STUDIO

    A small apartment usually consisting of one main living space, a small

    kitchen, and a bathroom.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: ROW

    A two-story single family structure sharing walls with an adjacent

    dwelling, built in a row.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: SALTBOX

    Characterized by the distinctive sloping roof line from the top of the

    gable, these can plunge from two-and-one-half stories in the front to a

    single story in the rear.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: TRI

    A “raised” ranch style structure that adds a full story on one end of the

    typical ranch home.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: VICT

    Usually two-stories with steep gables, ornate wood detail, Gothic style

    windows (pointed top) and brackets under the eaves. Some are built

    with a turret.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: TUDOR

    Has a steeply pitched roof, low doors, small-paned windows, and

    decorative half-timbering. This style is similar to the English home.


    Listing Form Abbreviation: OTHER

    Includes any styles of dwellings that do not

    fi t into the categories above.

    Houseboats, lofts, and many other styles

    fi t in the “other” category.

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