A Guide to Broker Price Opinions: Uses, Process and What to Expect

Broker price opinions, known in the industry as BPOs, offer a fast and budget-friendly way to estimate the market value of residential or commercial real estate. But how exactly are BPOs used, and what should you expect from the process? Here is a guide to broker price opinion (BPO)

What is a BPO?

A broker price opinion is a written estimate of real estate value, like a home or building, prepared by a licensed real estate broker or agent. It details their professional opinion of market value based on analysis of the property and comparable sales. BPOs provide valuation faster and cheaper than formal appraisals.

Common Uses of BPOs

  • Home sellers use BPOs to set competitive asking prices.
  • Home buyers utilize them to determine fair offer amounts.
  • Banks employ them to value homes held as collateral.
  • Mortgage servicers rely on them when loans default.
  • Attorneys, accountants, and courts use them for estate valuations.
  • Government agencies may use them for tax assessments.
  • Real estate agents depend on them to price listings appropriately.

What to Expect in the BPO Process

Inspection – The broker will inspect the subject property in-person or virtually to assess details and condition.

Comp Research – Brokers research recent sales of comparable homes nearby using MLS data and other resources.

Value Adjustments – Comparable properties are analyzed with value adjustments made for differences from the subject home.

Value Estimate – Using adjusted comps, the broker estimates a fair market value range for the subject home.

BPO Report – The broker completes and submits the full BPO report detailing their valuation rationale and suggestions.

BPO Turnaround Time

A BPO can typically be completed in 3 to 7 days but may take up to 2 weeks depending on availability, property type, and market conditions. Sufficient time should be allowed. Rush orders may incur premium fees.

BPO Costs

Broker price opinion fees range widely based on the property type, size, location, and required turnaround time. A basic BPO may range from $50-$300 on average. High-value estate BPOs cost more.

BPO vs. Appraisal

While less rigorous, BPOs provide quicker and cheaper valuation than formal appraisals. Appraisals adhere to strict standards and practices, making them preferred for purchase loans. BPOs are acceptable in refinances, default servicing, listings and other non-lending uses.

For many real estate valuation needs, a broker price opinion offers fast, affordable insight into likely market value from an experienced local professional. Understanding the BPO process and common applications allows utilizing this useful tool effectively.

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