What We Do
The Advantage Real Estate group offers paid third-party market valuation reports of properties that are an unbiased opinion of value. Since the report is completed for a fee and not as an enticement for a listing, the results are impartial and accurate as to the date of the report. Turnaround times and fees are based on complexity of the report, typically less than 72 hours. Call us today for details regarding your specific property.
We are an independently owned residential valuation company serving the Greater East Bay Solano, Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties, and have provided home valuations and formal Broker Price Opinions to private parties, hard money and institutional lenders since 2016.
If you’re looking for an expert valuation report but without the expense and time needed for a formal appraisal, contact us for fast, professional service.
When you need accuracy, experience counts. We have performed our 1200 Broker Price Opinions and Property Condition Inspections over the past six years.
While a typical realtor will perform at best 10 reports in one year, we complete on average 20 EVERY MONTH! we complete a realtor’s entire careers worth of home reports EVERY YEAR and have done it for six years. When you need accurate and unbiased results, experience matters.
What is a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) and Why Do I Want One?
A BPO is a snapshot valuation of a property at the time the report is taken.
While similar to a realtor’s comparative market analysis (CMA), a BPO is much more comprehensive, and estimates the market value of a specific property by not just evaluating similar homes that have recently sold in the same area, but also includes dollar adjustments for condition, feature count, square footage, condition, and lot size, as well as other metrics to determine value.
A BPO is more accurate than a CMA and quicker to complete than an appraisal. Since the report is a standalone product paid for by the person ordering it and not offered for free to secure a listing agreement the results are impartial. A BPO is a tool used to bridge the gap between an industry guess and a comprehensive evaluation.
What’s the Difference Between an Appraisal and a Broker Price Opinion?
In California, broker opinions of value are generally not considered “appraisals”. Per Section 11302(b) of California’s Business and Professions Code defines the term “appraisal” to explicitly exempt opinions of value for real property made by licensed real estate brokers in connection with their brokerage activities. This section reads, in relevant part:
‘Appraisal’ means the act or process of developing an opinion of value for real property. The term ‘appraisal’ does not include an opinion given by a real estate licensee or engineer or land surveyor in the ordinary course of his or her business in connection with a function for which a license is required…and the opinion shall not be referred to as an appraisal.”
Therefore, licensed real estate brokers may provide opinions of value in connection with brokerage activities. These opinions would logically encompass suggestion of appropriate pricing for the listing, purchase, or lease of a property (i.e., a fundamental activity performed by brokers). Thus, these opinions are not “appraisals.” (However, a licensed California broker who describes the valuation as an “appraisal” in this context, where he or she does not have an appraiser’s license, may violate this provision).
Activities that require the services of a licensed appraiser involve “federally related real estate appraisal activity”.
A “Federally related real estate appraisal activity” refers to real property appraisals occurring in the context of “a federally related transaction.”
“Federally related transaction” involves those transactions engaged in, contracted for, or regulated by certain federal financial institutions regulatory agencies.
These agencies include the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Home Loan Bank System, and the National Credit Union Administration.
Who Uses a BPO?
Institutional lenders and Valuation management companies often obtain a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) for loan refinancing, removal of private mortgage insurance (MI), opening a home equity line of credit (HELOC, and other situations where a full appraisal is not required. Other uses include:
- Property owners requiring an independent analysis of market value
- Private party buyers looking to verify value before completing an off-market sale
- Estate settlements
- Hard Money loans
- Partner buyouts
- Due diligence by investors prior to project funding
We invite you to contact us today and experience the Advantage difference.