BPO Tips For The Short Sale Agent

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Pacific Grand Estates

I read a blog post yesterday about short sales being ruined by other agents BPO. The blog post was written by Garry Ricco and I encourage you to read it here Controlling the BPO??? .

 It really got me thinking about the frustration that short sale agents feel in regards to the BPO, that can make or break the short sale deal. But I also feel the frustration is misplaced and it's unrealistic to "control" another's work and can get the short sale agent in hot water with some companies. I know that a few of our BPO companies specifically ask if anyone attempted to steer our value one way or another.

Having said this there is a happy medium. Here are some tips to help the Short Sale Agent work well with the BPO Agent.

1. It is absolutely acceptable to ask the BPO Agents if you may mention a few items that are not obvious, but will affect the properties value. 

2. Please make the property available when we call for an appt. If we have to leave a message for you please call back asap! Recently we referred  a "Short Sale Expert" 2 sellers. A few weeks later we had an order to do a BPO on a different propery that this Agent was handling... you guessed it. He didn't call back for anther 2 weeks. At that point we had called multiple times and we had already cancelled the order with the ordering company. That was a delay in the short sale process that noone wanted.

3. Please do not give us comps. Our job is to look in the MLS/Tax records to determine what comps are available and choose the best ones. If the house across the street just sold in a documented way (notice documented way) for a really low price than we'll find it and use it if appropriate.

4. Please don't ask us for the value or demand a copy of the report. We are banned from doing either. Our report and value was "purchased" by one company and you are not that company. We're not willing to risk our relationship with our client by doing so, and most times we don't pull comps. until after we have seen the condition of the property so we haven't formed any opinion of value.

5.If the value comes in high, low or just plain wrong in your opinion please do not assume that it was my BPO. Normally multiple BPO's and an appraisal are ordered. You might think because I was the one that came and did the interior BPO that it was my BPO, but the truth is it could have been a drive by BPO that they went with. I've even seen a intermediary company (the one who orders the BPO on behalf of the bank) change a value. That's a whole other blog post, but it happens.

Remember that the value placed by the BPO Agent is that of market value, not what your "deal seeker" buyer is willing to pay! Most BPO agents will use the closest and most comparable properties for comps. We are not told any pricing info. and it's best that you not tell us either.

And yes, I have seen and had to "clean up" some inexperienced BPO Agents work. It does happen but it's not the norm. With so many Agents wanting to get into BPO's and REO's it's bound to happen but that is why the companies order more than one BPO. This is just one of the areas in the BPO that you are truly at the mercy of the assigning company. I understand the frustration that Short Sale Agents face. And I know that BPO values are just one of the "issues" they must face in a very challenging transaction, but no one is to blame.With a few ground rules we can definitely work together to help homeowners, banks, buyers and communities altogether. 

To recap. Short Sale Agents are at the unfortunate mercy of many factors one of which is the BPO. Make yourself and the home available asap upon the request of the BPO Agent so we can get the report back to the bank asap and hopefully get your deal closed!



Posted by

Pete Reese, Broker/President

License #01739054

Sale Pros Realty



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Comments (10)

Eric Egeland
RE/MAX SUBURBAN - Libertyville, IL

Thanks for the post Pete & Heather.

I still don't understand why there are agents who don't return calls, how can they do business that way?

Aug 15, 2008 04:33 AM
Matthew Zgonc
Aksland Real Estate - Modesto, CA
Realtor, CFS, CVS

Good post Pete and Heather. It is frustrating when I can't get into a home for a week or so because they are not returning calls.

Aug 20, 2008 09:04 AM
Peter Reese
Pacific Grand Estates - Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Luxury Real Estate Agent - Rancho Santa Fe

Thanks Eric and Matthew for the comment! It's the little things that make our jobs hard, huh?

Aug 21, 2008 04:16 PM
Freddy A. Saavedra
Essential Properties - Goodyear, AZ

Thanks for the post, short sales are so difficult and frustrating. They are so frustrating in fact that many agents will not participate in them at all.

Aug 30, 2008 05:58 AM
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ

You have made some great points that many agents need to heed and especially about influencing value. I have had appraisers, one in particular, who call me on some of my REOs asking about the property but never asking what value I came in at.

Aug 31, 2008 11:06 AM
Michael Wayne Jackson
Coldwell Banker - Novato, CA
Broker - Seniors Real Estate Specialist Novato

Thanks forthe great advice Peter and Heather. This will help us both when doing our jobs.

Sep 08, 2008 08:26 AM
John Kim
Property Services & Short Sale TC - Irvine, CA

If a BPO is done correctly then what you mentioned is right but from what I've seen first hand that's not the case.  Some even make a business out of it and try to do bulk so then can amass some large bills.  A few of us in the OC have appraisal experience, aka lic. appraiser, so we know where it should be and when we finally find out the price thru the bank then the reality sets in that there are too many out there that don't know or care about what they are doing.  It sounds like you do and it would be great to have more like you out there...

Sep 09, 2008 03:42 PM
none none2
none3 - Arctic Bay, YN

Heather - thank you for the great post.  You have said what exactly what I have wanted to express for several months, just could seem to get it in to words.  The so called Short Sales experts just don't get it from our perspective and the guidelines we are given to work within.

By the way, may of these Short Sale agents that mispresent the availability of access to a property are in violation of the Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice 3-8 (provided they are a Realtor).  Had one today with some trumped up reason for why the key wasn't in the lockbox when the MLS said it was. Said he couldn't get it back in the lockbox until late next week. 

Anyways, thanks gain for putting into words, maybe a some of those short sale agents will understand a little bit more about our side.

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