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Erica Ramus' Blog

By Erica Ramus | Broker in 17901
  • BPOs are Illegal in Pennsylvania

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Pennsylvania Furnace, Home Selling in Pennsylvania Furnace, Financing in Pennsylvania Furnace  |  August 31, 2010 6:13 PM  |  852 views  |  No comments

    To follow up on my last post, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors (PAR) has indeed written extensively about BPOs and their status in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A Schuylkill County real estate broker took issue with my position stating that we cannot perform BPOs as agents or brokers. Here is the proof, cited from the PAR website.

    This is from their website:

    Can licensees perform Broker Price Opinions for a fee?
    “Broker Price Opinion” is not a legally defined term, as are “appraisal” and “comparative market analysis.” When a fee is charged for a BPO, it will either be considered an appraisal or a CMA. If it is determined to be a CMA (i.e., provided for the purpose of determining the asking/offering price for a property for the seller or buyer), then it falls within the scope of permitted activity for a real estate licensee. If, however, the BPO is determined to be other than a CMA, it will qualify as an appraisal, which requires an appraisal license to perform.

    To avoid confusion, the term BPO should not be used for any written expression of value for a fee. “Appraisal” and “comparative market analysis” are the terms that should be employed, depending on the purpose and scope of the valuation.

  • Can my real estate agent appraise my house?

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Pennsylvania Furnace  |  August 17, 2010 12:44 PM  |  360 views  |  No comments

    NO. Only licensed appraisers may do an appraisal.

    In Pennsylvania, a real estate agent must also obtain an appraiser's license in order to handle appraisals as well. Many real estate appraisers also have their real estate salesperson's license, but not many salespeople have an appraiser's license?

    WHY? Because it is much harder now to get your appraisal license than a salesperson's license. In Pennsylvania, real estate agents and brokers also may not perform BPOs (Brokers Price Opinions) because the state considers a BPO to be a form of an appraisal. So if an agent performs a BPO in the state of Pennsylvania, he or she is breaking the law.

    Real estate salespeople and brokers can provide you with a comparative market analysis, which is an informal estimate of market value, based on comparable sales in the neighborhood. The salesperson or broker will give you a CMA normally in the process of listing your home, to determine the most likely price you will get on the market.

    Although most brokers and agents are honest, some might tell you what they think you want to hear in order to "get the listing" and therefore earn a commission or fee from you. A licensed appraiser is independent and has no ulterior motive or reason to make the appraisal come out high or low. It is an objective opinion of value. Their goal is to deliver a fair and accurate report of value.

    Schuylkill Appraisal Services

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