Do BPOs always present a true picture to the lender?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC BK3064647

The answer is obvious – a great big NO.

As a real estate agent who has completed many BPOs I know there are conditions and issues with properties I can’t document or even see.

The power may be off so if there is an electrical issue or even a non-functioning air conditioner, I would never know. This could impact the selling price bythousands.

There may be a slow leak or other issues with the roof but if there is no active leak or evidence of a leak, how would I know?  Again, if there is a problem, thousands of more dollars off the selling price.

And the poolcould it have a problem with the pumping equipment or a leak, or need to be resurfaced? Potentially thousands here as well.

Another guideline I see referenced in the BPO process…assume the interior repairs/condition from the age and exterior.  I guess if the exterior is neglected the assumption is going to be the interior condition is similar. But what if the exterior is nice and the interior is suffering? You know what they say about assumptions….

When a short sale is involved it seems only obvious – the seller (seller’s agent) must make sure the lender knows the true condition because the BPO may be way off!

Posted by

Gary L. Waters, is a Florida licensed real estate broker at  Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, Melbourne, Florida serving Florida's Space Coast including the cities and surrounding communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach.

 Call or text me directly at 321-693-3850.



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David Grbich
Realty One Group - - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484
Hi Gary - could not agree more. I have a short sale listing now with an unpermitted addition - challenge is knowing if it got noted as the BPO is not shared. Regards Dave
Jul 04, 2012 11:46 PM #1
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Its unfortunate that many bpo's are inflated intentionally just to get the listing, which just leads to a lot of frustration and deteriorating home while the price adjusts to a reasonable selling price.

Jul 04, 2012 11:49 PM #2
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

David - So true. I guess I am thinking more about is as a listing agent myself right now.

Bob - So true. Thanks.

Jul 04, 2012 11:55 PM #3
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

My favorite are the BPO mills that pressure rookie agents into inflating values. I had a listing languish on the market for 105k for almost a year. An offer comes in close to that and the bank rejects. Why? because the "appraisal" came back at 135k!

 When pushed the lender disclosed that the "appraisal" was actually a BPO by a rookie agent. How many homes had Ms. Rookie closed in her career?? NONE!!!

 Yet her "market knowledge" almost sank my transaction. Cheaper is not always better.


Jul 04, 2012 11:56 PM #4
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

I only do BPOs in my local area - within about a 4 mile radius of my office and home. I know the area but I wonder about the agents who do the BPOs on my short sale listings.... Thanks.

Jul 05, 2012 12:00 AM #5
Sandy Shores FL Realtor®, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County Real Estate, Florida's Space Coast

Hi Gary, Hope it was a great 4th of July for you.  This is a great post.  There are so many factors to take into consideration with a BPO.  Sometimes they don't portray a true picture of the property.

Jul 05, 2012 04:24 AM #6
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Gary,

The BPO is only as good as the agent handling it...many are performed by new/rookie agents as an income generator and they may not have the experience necessary for this.

Jul 05, 2012 06:01 AM #7
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Sandy - It was...thanks! True the picture is sometimes pretty blurred.

Lisa - Again, so true. Thanks.

Jul 05, 2012 09:40 AM #8
Kwee Huset
Kwee Huset Realty - Venice, FL
Venice Florida Homes For Sale

Good morning Gary, there are so many unknown conditions until the inspections are done. e.g. septic, dry wood termite...

Jul 07, 2012 09:22 PM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

An excellent topic.  The low fees for BPOs attract some of the least experienced agents and sometimes they delegate the details to an assistant.

Have an outstanding week with your camera in hand.

Jul 07, 2012 10:07 PM #10
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

My wife Amanda used to do BPOs a lot.  They are nothing more than an opinion, and you are right, she can't see or know the true condition of the home.  Great post.  Suggested.  

Jul 07, 2012 10:18 PM #11
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Gary so true BPO's don't tell the full story.  With so much emphasis on BPO this was a good topic to tackle.

Jul 08, 2012 10:44 AM #12
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

BPO's don't seem to take a lot of things into account, Gary. It's unfortunate that most BPO agents don't seem to want to communicate with the seller's agent.

Jul 09, 2012 01:10 AM #13
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Gary, I agree with many of the others that the BPO is as good as the broker performing it, and yes with the utilities off it does make it difficult to get the full picture.  Hopefully there are no more DRIVE BY BPO's which were insane!

Jul 09, 2012 11:23 PM #14
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Kwee - Thanks. Have a great week!

Roy - Thanks. My camera in hand is no much for you!

Christiansen Team - Thanks!

Jennifer - Thanks. They are important!

Toni - I have spoken with the seller's agent. Nothing prohibits this as long as values and contracts are not discussed.

Bruce - BPOs are serious. I just think some agents see them as easy gas money. Thanks!

Jul 10, 2012 02:06 AM #15
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Unfortunately, with the way BPO's work, the low pay, the unknown qualifications of the agents, etc., there is no quality control.  There may be some very good BPO's as well as some really bad ones.

Jul 10, 2012 10:04 PM #16
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Gary, I only do BPOs for my foreclosure listings, and I agonize over them. You're so right, there are so many things that you don't know at the beginning. It takes me 2-3 hours to do a BPO. I don't see how people churn them out. It takes time.


Jul 17, 2012 01:06 PM #17
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Good one Gary, this is so true. With the short sale wave continuing for years to come we need stay sharp on how to relate to the lenders.fairfax county real estate agents Jan and Steve Bachman

Jul 20, 2012 12:59 AM #18
Regina P. Brown
California Coast & Country Homes, Inc. - San Luis Obispo, CA
e-Pro Realtor

Gary, it really needs a thorough inspection to see those types of problems.


Jul 21, 2012 01:47 AM #19
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... a small office, delivering big service!
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