The appraisal process is essential for determining the value of homes on the market and provides much utility in the world of real estate. Sometimes however it can encounter some kinks and bumps in the road that can make everything feel less efficient and reliable overall, so it’s important to know what some of those common mistakes or errors are in order for every participant to improve and make sure everything runs smoothly for prospective clients. Here is a list of the common complaints people have about the appraisal process and some remedies on how to address and fix them in the future.
Slow Turn Times:
One issue with the appraisal process is turn times that can sometimes be lower than expected, especially in market areas like rural parts of the country with smaller population bases than cities and suburbs. A minority of appraisers having to take on more work for a large area of land can greatly slow down the time it takes to process appraisals. Appraisers retiring from the field and lenders struggling to keep loan cycles short can also have an impact on the speed and efficiency of turn times.
One method TriMavin uses to lower turn times is incentivizing appraisers to process appraisals as fast as possible through 48-hour pay. By agreeing to pay appraisers for their work within 48 hours, this motivates the appraiser to deliver their work as soon as possible. When it comes to the shortage of appraisers in rural areas, TriMavin has implemented a mini-panel strategy that targets specific regions and markets. This is part of a regional operations model that institutes unique market segment knowledge and experience, allowing for optimal performance and giving appraisers the ability to “go the extra mile” on difficult and unique appraisals. Our use of automated technology and an experienced QC review team has helped reduce turn times by 30% while increasing quality and communication with the client.
Not Enough Appraisers:
Contributing significantly to the last problem, there simply aren’t enough appraisers in the market to actually do the work of determining value to more homes. According to a 2015 fact sheet from the Appraisal Institute, the number of appraisers has progressively declined by about 22% since the year 2007. On top of that, the appraisers that remain are aging, with over 60% of them being above the age of 50. Part of the problem is the number of qualifications trainees need to achieve before getting their license and the lack of proper compensation for the fewer number of appraisers taking on more work.
TriMavin has implemented the Appraiser Alliance Program, which maintains three channels of fulfillment via staff appraisers, Go2 Appraisers and panel appraisers. Staff and Go2 appraisers handle approximately 60% of the orders. These two channels provide TriMavin more control over turn time and quality. Go2 and staff appraisers have a better understanding of TriMavin’s expectations and therefore are able to fulfill orders with more efficiency and less disruption to the process. These two channels are a growing network which maximizes coverage across multiple states and counties.
Low Appraisal Values:
A common complaint is the appraisal coming in at a lower value than expected for the property. This can arise from multiple factors including artificially inflated prices from multiple offers, overpricing by the seller, an incorrect evaluation by the underwriter, fallout from an abundance of foreclosures or short sales in the neighborhood, rising market values due to limited inventory, and the appraiser overlooking pending sales data. A low appraisal can have a negative impact on the course of a sale, but it doesn’t necessarily have to mean the end of it.
There are a number of ways to remedy a low appraisal and keep the sale going including having the buyer make up the value difference in cash, having the seller lower the price of the home to match with that of the lower appraisal value, and disputing the value by submitting a Reconsideration of Value (ROV). In the ROV process, lenders can submit comparables to the AMC for consideration by the appraiser. If these comparables are considered there can be an adjustment to the original value. If the sale is likely to fall through, it is also possible to cancel the transaction via a loan contingency and the seller is required to return the money deposit to the buyer after the contract is cancelled.
Biases of any kind can distort the true value of the appraisal and can have a negative impact on the whole process. Some examples of bias include the halo and horn effects, which is when whatever is being appraised is on the basis of positive or negative qualities and features respectively, the primacy effect, which is when a first impression becomes the basis for the appraisal as a whole, and recency bias, which is when recent events preclude the overall picture from being taken into consideration.
It is important for the appraiser to remain as objective as possible and not resort to any sort of bias when performing inspections and appraisals of certain properties. TriMavin has a thorough QC process that looks over every appraisal and will send back any forms which contain mistakes made on the part of the appraiser. A certified appraiser in the office will also inspect reports submitted by appraisers out in the field to see if they meet objective standards as well. This is to ensure that every appraisal is fair and accurate and a just evaluation can be made of a property in question.