For many distressed home sellers, the term "BPO' is totally greek. Sadly enough, it doesn't ring a bell with many Realtors either. What's more disturbing is that very few Realtors consider the significance or the power of someone else (who's probably traveled for more than 30 miles away) taking a look at your property and giving their opinion of what it would sell for in today's market....sounds simple, right??? It's much more complicated than that.
The reality is that the fate of your client's property (and financial future) may rest upon this single, solitary number...because when that figure lands in the hands of your negotiator on a short sale, it's considered GOLDEN....regardless of whether or not the BPO agent searched all MLS databases for your area for comps or not, or whether they even slowed their car down long enough to actually take a photo or not....it's your negotiator's only link between your offer and the perceived value of your listing. So, what do you do?? I'm so glad that you asked....
1) Remove all access portals to your property - Make it imperative that the person completing the BPO go through you for access and DISCUSS, DISCUSS, DISCUSS the property with the agent. Provide them with a copy of your very own BPO so that they can compare. Many times, if a lender has a pre-existing BPO for a property and a second BPO comes in with a value that's significantly different, a third BPO will be ordered.
2) Submit YOUR very own BPO to the lender along with your highest and best offer. Make sure that your comps are as close to your property in size, condition, age, location, and lot size as humanly possible.
3) ASK, ASK, ASK the BPO agent about their value opinion. To be totally honest, most BPO providers don't even read the fine print where it states that their not supposed to discuss value with anyone other than the requestor. TRY IT ANYWAY!!!
4) DON'T STEER....DISCUSS!!! Don't try to overwhelm or impress the other agent with your vast knowledge of market activity. Humble yourself and actually have a conversation with the other person. It's true, you'll actually catch more bees with honey.
I can't stress enough the importance of completing a BPO on your listing. Use it as as leverage in negotiating with the buyer's agent. Use it in discussing your opinion of value to the loss negotiator. Use it to line the bird cage....just USE IT!!!