A booming housing market + an abundance of appraisals + a severe appraiser shortage = a recipe for potential disaster. While our industry thrives on the housing market and its bustling outlook, the lack of experienced, licensed appraisers can cause serious headaches. Not only are you faced with slower turn times, but you’re also faced with higher fees. In fact, research indicates that appraisal turn times in some regions, like the Pacific Northwest, is nearly double that of surrounding regions’ peers. Add that to the fact that supply and demand is driving up appraiser fees, and you’re left with unhappy customers for more reasons than one.
The silver lining? We know a few ways that you can shorten your appraisal turn times and home appraisal process even when it seems impossible. By putting a few of these tips into practice, you might be surprised how you can take your sour appraisal lemons and turn them into lemonade.
Be knowledgeable about the turn times in your area.
It goes without saying that understanding the turn times in your appraisal area is a key piece of the appraisal equation. Knowing turn times will not only help you plan for how long the home appraisal process will take, but it will also help prepare your clients to know what to expect. While there’s no guarantee that sheer knowledge will shorten the turn time itself, it’s important that your appraisers are equipped with a property’s information from the get-go. That means divulging any information that makes a property unique and proactively communicating details. If an appraiser has the information he/she needs from the very beginning, you won’t spend valuable time communicating back and forth, and you might possibly even seen an improved turn time as a result.
Build a robust appraiser network.
If you’re not currently working with an appraisal management company and leveraging their network, that’s okay. Instead, do some benchmarking to see how your appraisal department is stacking up against other appraisers in your area. Use our benchmark report or develop your own system to see how your appraisers and their residential and commercial appraisal turn times are trending. Create a network of credible, knowledgeable, and experienced appraisers that you can rely on. Spend time reviewing appraiser reviews and stay on top of disciplinary lists, too. In the end, the more robust your network, the faster access you have to all the best people to get the job done as fast as possible – and that is key.
- Pro Tip: Keep in mind that it’s important to cull your appraiser network too. We’ve developed a few ways to know when it’s time to remove an appraiser from your panel.
It’s as simple as that. Forward thinking will help alleviate any appraisal issues before they start. Understanding everything from changing regulations like Dodd-Frank’s potential repeal and how that will affect appraisals to knowing the ins and outs of a property will ward off any potential delays. At MountainSeed, we pride ourselves on having an innovator’s mindset. That means we’re thinking ahead to the future to determine what might happen in the appraisal industry before it actually does. Challenge your bank to stay on top of regulations not when they happen, but long before they happen, and encourage others in your department (and beyond!) to do the same. Our trend reports are a great starting point to see what’s trending in real estate and appraisals and can aid in tracking where the future might be headed.
Looking for even more ways to step-up your appraisal management game? We’re here to help. Check-out our other management posts for the latest in industry trends, or sign-up for our newsletter to have it sent straight to your inbox.