A BPO or broker’s price opinion is commissioned by a bank (often because of a pending foreclosure) or an attorney handling a divorce or an estate. These are used in situations where the agent may be unable to access the interior of the house and must rely on a drive-by and information on comparable home sales from the public record. In presenting both CMAs and BPOs, agents are using their experience and instinct rather than any formal training in valuing property.
Appraisers, on the other hand, are formally trained and either licensed or certified by their state. Most will certify that they prepared their work in conformity with the requirements of the Code of Professional Appraisal Practice of the Appraisal Institute.