Insights

Making the Appraisal Review More Efficient with Technology

Posted by Rick Garrie on Sep 10, 2019 10:16:00 AM

We all know how much lenders and borrowers care about getting a fast turn time on their appraisals. This could mean making the appraiser's task simpler and easier, but it could also mean streamlining the appraisal review step as well. At United States Appraisal we use technology, to improve this important part of the process.

In a recent post we discussed using technology to help the appraisers deliver quickly without sacrificing quality. After the appraiser delivers the report we make the review process more efficient by combining our proprietary appraisal management software with property data and adding AI and Machine Learning.

An appraisal review might be based on anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 data points. The United States Appraisal's technology team has integrated several tools to isolate the data points that are most sensitive to the quality of the report. From there we narrow the field to 8 to 10 potential places where the appraiser's home valuation might need a closer look. With this, we achieve an immediate impact on quality by telling us the important areas to focus on.

iStock-1091348950A tool like RealView, for example, can flag the report if the adjusted range of comps for recently sold homes is wider than the unadjusted range, an indicator the appraisal methodology may need to be reviewed. Another example is that it can flag a report if there are too many "across the board" feature adjustments, suggesting the property is a-typical for that area and there are too few comps.

Moreover, since issues can be ranked, they can be prioritized. For example, maybe the gross living area adjustment is more than 10% for one of the comps, which might mean that comp was a less-than-ideal selection. That might be a caution flag but it’s a relatively mild risk. It might not be worth taking up the appraiser’s time if the appraisal is solid otherwise.

Technology can also automate some of the back-stopping our customer service team can do for appraisers. Maybe the appraisal didn’t clarify if any services on the subject have taken place in the last three years. Technology can prompt the reviewer to seek clarification. Technology can also be used to confirm there are no UAD violations or raise the alarm if there are, saving the reviewer time.

Did the appraiser indicate the property is rural? Technology will prompt the reviewer to look on a map and confirm it. What if the address on the order isn't an exact match for the address on the appraisal? Technology can assist in making sure details like this all line-up.

The possibilities are endless. Our technology team thinks the day is coming when publicly available photographs, such as those on Google Maps, could be used to flag deferred maintenance.