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MinPA,  in 18102

Can agents do BPO's?

Asked by MinPA, 18102 Thu Aug 23, 2007

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Yes, I would say you can. We can in Louisiana. If a company is looking for someone to do a BPO, they usually want someone that has been in the business at least 2-3 years. I got my start on BPO's through relo companies. I find them time consuming.
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2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2007
Different states have different rules regarding this. Here in PA agents can do BPO's but only if it is for the purpose of listing the home for sale. Many times banks will have offer on short sales and foreclosures, then contact an agent to do a BPO. By PA state law this is not allowed. Only the broker of the office may legally perform that type of BPO. If an agent is asked to do a BPO he or she must ask if it is for the purpose of listing the home for sale, if yes thay can do it. Any other reason and the agent cannot do them legally.

BPO's don't have any real value. The only way to get a true professional "opinion" is to hire a state licensed appraiser, who has very specific procedures and criteria they must go by to provide an accurate assement of a property. The only thing a REALTOR can legally do is a CMA strictly for the purposes of listing a home for sale.

Agents who need verification of this should call the PAR legal hotline and/or contact the PA Real Estate Commission. Many brokers are not aware of the specific rules regarding BPO's and may inadvertanly allow an agent to do them.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 27, 2009
Honestly, your time could be better spent prospecting; take that time and go to a networking event. If you are interested in the same monetary compensation for BPO's, sell a rental.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2007
Carrie's answer below is NOT the best answer. In PA it is illegal for agents to do BPOs. Period.

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.

Agents from out of state should not be commenting on state rules/regulations out of their area of expertise.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 19, 2012
See the website cited below to answer your question. The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors website also has their legal counsel's answer to the questions, which is a BIG NO. The PAR Counsel's quote is on the website I cite below.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 18, 2010
According to the PA Real Estate Commission, real estate licensees are not permitted to perform BPOs under their real estate licenses. A BPO is considered an appraisal and can only be performed by someone who holds an appraisal license—such as an appraiser or a broker/appraiser.

That being said, however, sometimes companies ask for a BPO when all they really just desire is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Real estate licensees may provide CMAs if the CMA is being performed in order to obtain the listing. Remember, the CMA must have the disclaimer language contained in the RELRA.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 21, 2008
You are from Allentown?! You can NOT do BPOs in PA. The only way you can do a CMA is if you have full intentions of trying to get the listing. Most banks are not asking for BPO's to list. . It is not worth the risk.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 21, 2008
Yes, agents and brokers can do BPO's and lenders will pay us for them. I have been compensated as much as $250 for a BPO
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
Can anyone tell me how much will a valuation firm pay a BPO for the following:

1 page Desktop
1 page desktop photo
pre foreclosure drive by
full exterior inspection
full interior inspection
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2013
I'm in CA, thx Pam $250 sounds about right.. Yes! E&O a must
Flag Mon Jan 7, 2013
Regarding comments from agents in PA, this is on PA DRE website:"...The act supplies a very clear definition of what a comparative market analysis is: A written analysis, opinion, or conclusion by a contracted buyer's agent, transactional licensee or an actual or potential seller's agent relating to the probable sale price of a specified piece of real estate in an identified real estate market at a specified time, offered either for the purpose of determining the asking/offering price for the property by a specific actual or potential consumer or for the purpose of securing a listing agreement with a seller. " From what I understand, PA agents can do CMA for potential buyers who try to determine offering price, not just for the purpose of securing a listing agreement with a seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
I would not use BPO as a monetary tool. They only time i would do it is if is for an established REO account I already have.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 26, 2012
If any agents are interested in BPOs or have questions, all BPO Teaching information will be free on the website within the next few days. Most questions can be answered by reading, including how to do BPOs and how to get them. Laws are changing so fast on these, it is really important for everyone to check on a continual basis to see whether or not they are legal and in what situations they are legal.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 21, 2010
Hi MinPA,

If PA stands for Pennsylvania, I agree with Erica's answer - especially being a broker in the state. For all other states, actively licensed real estate agents who hang their license with a broker of record and have E&O insurance can be contracted to complete BPOs. You are putting your name to a valuation. Just remember that if you ever do them. Don't want a $40 BPO to come back and haunt you later.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 17, 2010
Yes even though it is illegal here in PA, many agents and brokers still do them. They get around it by stating it's not a BPO but is a CMA for listing purposes. They add that as a disclaimer. But on the top of the "order" from the bank and the form you submit say BPO!

I personally don't do them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
Yes, Chris Hoffman's answer is excellent, but on a side note banks and bpo companies will still try to get agents to do BPOs where they aren't legal. You will hear, it's only an opion, you aren't liable. Well that's nice Mr. Bank or Mrs. BPO Company... so can you explain to me why I am required to submit my E&O insurance information when I signed up since I'm not liable?

If you are an agent licensed in 2 bordering states, you will be asked to cross the border to do a BPO in a state where BPOs are not legal in all cases. You are not free and clear because they are legal in one of the states. I've had arguments with BPO companies that have tried to get agents I've taught on BPOs to break laws for them. BPO companies are not looking out for our best interest, it is up to us to do it for ourselves. Be careful and if you do a good job, you'll get more work!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 14, 2010
I went through the list of these BPO companies to sign up, and these application forms always ask for "Company". Do I enter the name of the brokerage firm that I belong to? Or do I just enter my full name for that field? Thanks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 17, 2009
Not allowable in New Mexico.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 25, 2009
Chris Hoffman's reply is excellent. Always go to your BROKER first, with any questions!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 25, 2009
Depends on your state

Great list of BPO Asset Mangers here:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 25, 2009
Is it illegal to perform BPO's in my state?

This is a big detail that you simply don't want to overlook when deciding if you want to and are able to do BPO work. The first place you want to go is directly to your broker. If they do not know then you and/or your broker may need to research this question more in order to get a crystal clear answer.

A good place to start is with your local real estate licensing board or your state's department of licensing. Click here to see an example of what my state's rules are on this.

Other places that are good to check in with are your state legislature. As an example my state's laws on this are explained in great detail on this page. Click here to go to their now!

Some more places that you might want to consider checking are with your local Realtor Association or through the legal department within your local MLS.

I hope this helps!

Nicole Ocean
nicolesdreams eBooks


p.s. check out my free list of over 120 BPO, REO and Asset Mgmt companies that was added to my site on Jan.1, 2009 Click on the following link to go there now.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
Yes they can. Thousands are done on a daily basic.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
That who its made for. Good luck.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 13, 2008
They can. And you will get paid for your work, not much, $50.00 - $80.00 per BPO. You need to talk with your broker about the compensation arrangement.

It is also a good way to get listings if you work the system correctly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2007
In California, we can do BPOs...
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 23, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
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