SB 869 Impacting CMAs & BPOs

What Would SB869 Have Done if Passed?

If enacted into law, the bill as introduced in April 2013 would have permitted a licensed PA real estate broker, associate broker, or salesperson (with the employing broker taking no responsibility for the results of the BPO) to provide a CMA or a broker price opinion (BPO) for many purposes beyond prospective or actual brokerage activity, including, tax appeals, estate settlement, pre-foreclosure due diligence, portfolio valuation, collateral monitoring, litigation support, etc. The only purpose for which a broker or salesperson would not be permitted to perform a CMA/BPO would be “as a basis to determine the value of a parcel of real property for a mortgage loan origination, including a first or junior mortgage, refinancing, or equity line of credit.” It is somewhat unclear whether or not a BPO that provides other information, such as comparable sales, photos, prior sales, etc., could be used as part of an evaluation for mortgage loan origination purposes. A CMA or BPO could be used in conjunction with an appraisal for these purposes.

The people of Pennsylvania should view any proposed legislation that follows in the footsteps of SB869, with disbelief and skepticism, at best. At worse, it reflects a clear attempt by the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors to move sales agents who may never have sold one house, into an arena where they can do valuation work, with results that may prove to be disastrous for those who expect to rely on them.

No one should have to worry about the qualifications of a person deemed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be competent to do valuation work. Right now, thanks to its historically strong stance on qualifications for State Certified Real Estate Appraisers, no one has to.