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BPO's...who are these people?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Publicover Realty Group, inc BK3013613

"Broker Price Opinions", on the face of it they appear to be just an opinion or quasi CMA being put together by a licensed real estate agent. one would expect this agent to utilize the normal standards for assembling, analyzing the data and coming to a conclusion about a property's value. The same institutions, the Banks, that got us into the short sale and foreclosure crisis are again creating a problem.

Instead of utilizing a certified appraiser, that would cost several hundred dollars, they are pay a mere $50. a piece for a broker opinion. The old saying," You get what you pay for".

I don't care too much about this concept as much as I am concerned about who brokers are sending out to do the job.

Case in point. I had a routine call from someone that wanted to do a BPO. so far so good. she asked me for the lock box combo, which I informed her it was on an electronic Supra Lock box. She then proceed to tell me she did not have a key pad to open Supra lock boxes, Which puzzled me. something told me to begin to probe a little more. I asked her how does she expect to do real estate without having the tools for the job. She then admitted she was not a real estate agent. At that point I politely informed her that I would not allow an unlicensed person into my customers home. When I asked her if she had ANY kind of professional license or if she was bonded, she replies "NO". Here is someone gathering data for a BPO that could result in a  harmful outcome to a homeowner and is not even required to be minimally qualified for the task. The bottom line is, I did not let her have access to the home and her last words before slamming the phone down were. "I don't know what your problem is but, this has never happen to me before and I do this every day!"

Agents..... Be careful who you let into your clients home. You could be dragged into some serious litigation for an act committed by a drug user, sexual predator, or burglar all because a Broker is sending unlicensed people to do this work.

Has anyone had similar experinces?


Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Central Maryland

Yes. I had a similar call from an agent last week. I could not verify who he was working for and he did not know, so I denied his request for the code. You need a little more than that to get into my clients home!

Feb 07, 2011 12:57 PM
Bob Publicover
Publicover Realty Group, inc - Stuart, FL
Thinking outside the box

You did the right thing Ellie. More agents should be like you. Ask questions.

Feb 07, 2011 01:02 PM
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

All I can say is WOW! You did the right thing for sure! You did not explain in your post.... what was the BPO for?

Feb 12, 2011 06:45 AM
Barbara Le Pine
ADVANTAGE REAL ESTATE, serving Lincoln County - Newport, OR
Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast!

Bob, I am surprised an agent would send an assistant into a home for an interior BPO, the liability would be tremendous. 

 Since I have listed REO's I get requests for BPO's constantly, I do them once in awhile.  It is difficult to get a bank owned listing if you have never done BPO's.  They are useful for knowing your inventory inside and out, but are time consuming. I do them so at least someone in my area is giving accurate information to the banks. I would not dream of sending anyone else to a BPO to get photos for me.

Where short sales are concerned, the banks already know BPO's are useless. I will hire a certified appraiser as there is little chance of bank approval without one. (Seller and buyer split the cost or I won't do the short sale transaction).

I think the banks do the BPO's primarily to find out if a house is vacant or occupied before changing the locks and evicting the occupants.

Scary to think non-real estate people think they have the right to enter a house under the guise of doing a BPO.

Excellent post!

Mar 08, 2011 06:42 AM
Bob Publicover
Publicover Realty Group, inc - Stuart, FL
Thinking outside the box

Barbara, Thanks for your comments. Things like this  may not happen or be allowed in your neck of the woods, Oregon but, This is Southern Florida and I hate to say it, Ethics is practiced last by MANY Agents down here.

Mar 09, 2011 05:08 AM
Keisha Hosea- KASIHomes.com
KASI Homes - Chino Hills, CA
Real Estate Solutions For Real People

OH MY GOODNESS! Never would I have even imagined something like this. Call me naive.

Mar 17, 2011 03:52 PM
Al Raymondi
Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida - Ormond Beach, FL
Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales

Glad you stuck to your guns on this one Bob.  We need to be more careful these days.

Mar 22, 2011 01:18 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Bob, I am glad you posted this as we are so trusting up here I may have let something like this slip by but with your warning I can assure you it won't happen to me. Now that I'm prepared if I do get such a call I'm going to get their ID and then say no.

Mar 27, 2011 03:28 PM
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Bob, good call.  I make sure that my listings get me when the agent wants to do a BPO.  They specifically ask if it is a showing, preview  or BPO.

Apr 04, 2011 10:48 AM