The New Agent's Guide to the BPO (Broker Price Opinion)

The BPO, or Broker Price Opinion, is a tool used by lenders and mortgage companies to value properties in situations where they believe the expense and delay of an appraisal are not necessary. Real estate brokers are given an order to do a BPO by the lender, mortgage company or loss mitigation company. The broker does either a Drive-By BPO or an Internal BPO in most cases.

In some states, BPOs have been a problem, as real estate brokers aren't allowed to charge for services, especially when they step on the toes of appraisers.  However, that's slowly changing, as the appraisers don't want to do them anyway, as the money isn't big enough.  With some real estate agents barely hanging on, they're happy to make $75 to $150 or so to go out and fill out the lenders form for valuation of a property. Learn about doing BPOs here, when they are used, the types and requirements of each.

When is a BPO or Broker Price Opinion Used?

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Lenders and mortgage companies might use a BPO for many reasons. Learn the primary reasons for their use here. It isn't just for foreclosures.  They may want to look at a refinance or mortgage forbearance agreement. More

Make Sure That You Are Legal in Doing Broker Price Opinions

Foreclosure sign and newspaper.
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Don't make the mistake I did. I joined an association, took tests and got certified to do BPOs in my state. The problem was that it isn't legal for me to do so. Yes, I'm a broker, so that wasn't the problem. Find out about it here.

**Update:  My state is New Mexico, and they changed their rules to allow brokers to do BPOs and charge for them. 

The Two Major Types of BPOs or Broker Price Opinions

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By far, two major types of BPO, or Broker Price Opinion, are used by lenders and loss mitigation companies nationally. Learn the types, requirements for each, and what you might get paid.

Often the type of BPO ordered by the lender is based on whether the property is occupied or not.  If it is, they may not want to alarm the borrower or to create an antagonistic situation with the real estate person.  Sometimes the agent will arrive to do a drive-by BPO only to find the property abandoned.  They would then call the company ordering the BPO to see if they want to convert it. More

What is Done in a Drive By BPO or Broker Price Opinion?

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A Drive By BPO, or Broker Price Opinion, is a common tool for lenders in foreclosure and refinance situations. Learn what you might be called upon to do and report when doing a Drive-By BPO.

This doesn't mean stay in the car necessarily.  Getting out and walking around without getting too noisy or trespassing can sometimes give the agent a better look and more information.  Sometimes they even find that the property is no longer occupied. More

The Internal BPO or Broker Price Opinion

The more thorough type of BPO, the Internal Broker Price Opinion requires a great deal more in the way of information, valuation work and photos. Learn what most Internal BPOs require, as well as additional services brokers frequently perform.

It is important to follow the instructions of the lender and take care to fill in the forms properly if you want to get paid.  Also, photos should be taken as they direct.  If they want front, rear and side views, make sure you get them all. More

NABPOP - The National Association of Broker Price Opinion Professionals

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For those wishing to learn about doing BPOs, or Broker Price Opinions, this is a good place to start. You won't feel your membership fee is wasted, as you'll also be placed on a network so that BPO purchasers can find you. Learn about NABPOP here.

I never did a BPO and even let my membership expire.  But, I still get emails and calls years later from BPO companies offering me jobs.  

BPOs May Mean Listings

Some brokers want to do BPOs because they have a chance at a listing. Even if they do not, they will have advance notice of possible foreclosure properties coming online and they know their condition.