Short sales have been hampered by cycle times that can easily last months. One of the critical steps to improving adoption of this loss mitigation tool is to standardize and shorten the time from initial offer to investor acceptance.
 
Using BPOs (Broker Price Opinions) to benchmark and vet purchase offers is a critical step that can save weeks or more from the process. Rather than a buyer submitting an offer and not knowing whether it was accepted or rejected for one or two weeks, they could have a response in just a few days.
 
Anyone who has used or seen the evolution of BPO services over the past six to 12 months understands the comprehensive and statistical data and methodologies that are used to derive a value opinion.
 
This month, appraiser groups told Treasury Secretary Geithner that real estate agents and brokers have an inherent bias toward quick results that produces a fee for themselves. I have a hard time supporting the argument that BPOs are somehow less accurate or any more subject to fraud than traditional appraisals
 
The National Association of Realtors wrote Geithner to say there is no reason why the Treasury Department should ban the use of BPOs in short sales. "There is no evidence that BPO exacerbates mortgage fraud or abuse," NAR says in its letter to Treasury. The group emphasized that BPOs are used frequently to analyze mortgage loan portfolios for risk management and fraud detection.