Changing a BPO? Screw That.

Real Estate Agent with Cutler Real Estate

So, I'm a tad hot at the moment.  I probably just got fired from VSS.  A company I've worked with for years, and until today, have never had even the slightest hint of a problem.

A BPO for a HELOC was assigned to me in Akron, AKA, an URBAN area.  This wasn't a particularly difficult neighborhood to comp, but the house was a tiny, little Ranch.  Like less than 800 sq. ft. tiny.  Neighborhood with homes built 1900-1930's, wha tkinds of homes do ya think are most prominent?  That's right, 1200+ sq. ft. Colonials.  Expanded the search to 2 miles *gasp* but still the same zip code as the subject.  Got an OK value - it is Akron we're talking about here. 


They email, they call (I was napping) so they call again, to discuss, even though I commented my a** off on the form.  They, the most irritating, ignorant QA people (4 of them) I've ever spoken with, tried to tell me if there are no comps within 1 mile, then it's a suburban location.  Um, what????  It's Akron.  Akron, Ohio.  Population roughly 217,000.  Their deffinition of Urban: Manhatten & Chicago.  My definition of Urban: 50,000 or more people in a given area.  I'm fairly freaking sure Akron's Urban.

They don't care.  They still want me to change it a suburban area or find comps within 1 mile.  I explain to them, many, many, many, times that of the 3 solds in the last 6 months, within that 1 mile radius, 2 were REOs and sold for less than $20,000.  I'd be happy to use them as comps, but it would probably upset the bank, & the homeowner, as the value would significantly decline.  They say not use use those two comps.  Find new ones or change it to a Suburban location.

I was so irritated, I hung up on them before I could let loose with a tirade of unprofessionalism all over their heads.  I don't control the market.  But I do know it.  And I find it just wrong that some moke in another state, would not only question my values, but also question my knowledge, and then ask me to make changes, which I find totally unethical, (I am NOT lying on a anything, let alone a BPO) to fit their unrealistic guidelines for this crappy NEO housing situation. 

I most likely lost a client, but at least I'll be able to sleep at night.   

Comments (16)

Rich Kruse
Gryphon USA, Ltd. - Columbus, OH

This crap started with Land America a few months ago.  When we started working with them, they were great.  After a while I think they were sold and the BS started.  Rejections, requests for information that was already on the form, 3 different QC inquiries all at the same time from different people.  They asked us to change our valuations to higher numbers.  That was not going to happen.

In this business, you don't always get the listing after the BPO.  If there is something that I do not need though, it is a listing assignment based on the BPO that was fudged to make the QC guy happy.  Talk about screwing yourself.

One of the reasons for the BPO is to sell off a portfolio of loans.  The purchase criteria includes certain value parameters that need to be met.  If not, then the sale is not completed.  You think these folks would learn already about pushing valuations, huh? I guess it depends on if the buyer or seller is making the request.

Jul 27, 2007 01:18 AM
Kathleen R. Cosner
Cutler Real Estate - Akron, OH

Just recieved a reply email.  Basically said I should have stopped doing the BPO and requested an appraisal.  Can't make up comps.  Won't change the suburban/urban thing.  And their "guidelines" cannot be ingnored.  Whatever.

Rich- You just stated the exact reasons I rarely do a BPO for LandAm anymore! 

Jul 27, 2007 03:50 AM
Rich Kruse
Gryphon USA, Ltd. - Columbus, OH
I told them to take me off their list.  I will not do them and all of my agents told me that they won't do them anymore either.
Jul 28, 2007 06:52 AM
Paul Moye
Benchmark Realty - Franklin, TN
Broker, GRI, SRES
Good to know to stay away from them. BPO companies come and go like bad agents. I feel that agents and appraisers who lose their licenses somtimes work for the crappy BPO firms
Jul 29, 2007 02:55 PM
Carmen Offutt
La Rosa Realty - Altamonte Springs, FL


I feel for you, I have been having a hard time latly and I thought it was just in my area.  Our market is down so much so that you can not find any comps that are similar in size and neighborhood sold 6 moths or less.  I am thinking wether is worth the hassle or not, after all I don't know if I am going to get any listings at all doing this BPOs.  I will keep away from LandAm because of the comments here, thanks.

Jul 30, 2007 01:45 PM
Blair Ballin
Conway Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Katie, great post. I deal primarily with Single Source, and sometimes their QC dept comes up with the most irrelevant remarks despite my comments. You have a subject with 2 levels that is totally overbuilt for the area, and if you go anywhere outside the subdivision those are not true comps, so I stay inside that area and pick 1-levels that have the same square footage and represent the market value of homes there. I add and subtract for features and all I get--please replace all comps due to not being 2-level...argh!!! Your example is far better but I feel the pain and frustration. Just hang in there!
Jul 31, 2007 04:06 PM
Kathleen R. Cosner
Cutler Real Estate - Akron, OH
Thanks for the comments guys.  Good to know there are others with integrity still working in RE.
Aug 01, 2007 06:06 AM
David Slavin
Keller Williams Premier - Katy, TX
CDPE, ABR, SRES Keller Williams Premier
Thanks again for the education I get when I read your blogs! 
Aug 05, 2007 02:24 AM
Kim Bragg
Bragg & Associates Real Estate, LLC - Augusta, GA
Broker/Owner, ABR, CRS, GRI, ePro
Blair, who is Single Source?
Aug 28, 2007 01:23 PM
Keith Elliott Jr
KEIRE Realty Group - Manassas, VA
Principal Broker/Owner


SingleSource is another BPO company. You can pull up their site at


Oct 08, 2007 02:39 PM
Stephen Meadows
Coldwell Banker - San Antonio, TX
Brand Ambassador

Disputes are inevitable in this business, even if you are very good. Some QC people just don't bother reading the form. I have actually had 1st American tell me that. I have begun to anticipate a problem in advance and comment until the feilds were full and still they e-mail me. Many times, simply explaining the situation will clear the dispute. Also, it's a good way of getting to speak one-on-one with someone in the company. Take the time to ask how you are doing and what your rating is. I have gotten more business by simply asking for it. Usually, it was because I was repsonding to a dispute. A very important lesson I have learned is you catch more flies with honey. If they like you, they will send you more business!

Oct 28, 2007 03:40 PM
I get the same from LandAmerica and EML. EML has the worst QC people I have ever dealt with. But over time I have figured out how to play their game.
Jan 18, 2008 11:30 AM
Kris Zugloff
Maximum One Realty - Marietta, GA
I also had problems with Land America.Eventually they accepted it but first they rejected it 3 times. Treir QC is a hit and miss depending on who you going to land.
Jan 20, 2008 08:19 AM
Susan Boeldt
Century 21 Rautmann/Schils Real Estate Inc - Sheboygan, WI
If it makes you feel better I got fired from ProTeck today, got an email that my acount had been canceled.  Only did a few for them and the pay was a joke so no major loss but....
Jan 23, 2008 08:51 AM
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