Technology plays a prominent part in how Express Appraisal Services does business. It helps keep costs down while maintaining superb quality and responsive service. And first and foremost, we are aware of the importance of customer service. We treat you like we prefer to be treated ourselves whether we're in person, having a phone conversation, or sending an e-mail. Our goal is a superior experience for our customers. Call us today. We guarantee you'll see the difference, too.
Why hire a technically advanced appraiser
We all know them. The guys with pounds of silicon hanging from their belts. Every new gadget that has hit the market in the past 10 years has done time around their waist. Call them geeks. Call them nerds. Call them what you will, but by all means, give them your appraisal business. Why? I'm glad you asked.
Appraisers are, by far, the most technical agents in the real estate world. By necessity, they have been drawn into the digital world at a pace not seen by their colleagues. The appraisal process is one that lends itself to technology. And technology has paid significant dividends to those appraisers who have invested in it. These dividends are shared with the appraiser's customers, in the form of shorter turn-around times and a much better final valuation report.
Let's start at the beginning. Millions of real estate transactions are processed each year in the United States. Almost all of them require some sort of appraisal. Technology has allowed savvy appraisers to reduce the amount of work their clients need to order, track and receive appraisals. In the past, the primary mode of interaction between an appraiser and his clients was the telephone and fax machine. Clients would send requests via fax, and then often follow it up with a phone call to make sure it was received. Tracking the progress of the appraisal meant more phone calls - a disruption for both the client and the appraiser.
But the modern, technologically advanced appraiser has a better method. Using tools like this website - complete with the ability to order appraisals online - allows clients to shave valuable time off the process of ordering and tracking appraisals. Technologies like a la mode's net. X network is advancing this concept even further, giving its users the ability to not only order appraisals but track their progress all the way until delivery. No more annoying games of phone tag!
The appraisal process is nothing if not a data-intensive process. Appraisers spend a lot of their time gathering both specific information about the subject property and general data about the local market and developing trends. Once again, technology has stepped in to help appraisers. In the past, the home inspection process has been time-consuming and difficult. To top it off, appraisers then had to come back to the office and transcribe their field notes into the appraisal file itself. No longer.
Today's digital appraiser has several tools that can aid in gathering data in the field. Starting with tools like a la mode's Pocket TOTAL, appraisers are eliminating the duplicate data entry problems of the past. Tools like the Leica Disto Laser meter are making the measurements more accurate. And software like Apex's PocketApex allows the appraiser to sketch the house on the fly. We have taken this to even higher heights now employing the use of the latest Apple iPhones with Lidar technology in combination with lasers for added verification when needed. All-encompassed in cloud-based solutions to provide seamless integration from the field to the office. All of this means that the appraiser can get the report done and delivered to the client in a fraction of the time it once took.
On the other side of the data-gathering coin is the general data. The Internet has revolutionized the ability of appraisers to get quality data in a fraction of the time it once took. Where once an appraiser would spend hours finding the right location maps and then rubbing on decals, the modern appraiser gets his maps with a few mouse clicks, complete with location markers. And flood maps? Likewise, just a few clicks away using services like a la mode's FloodSource. Standardized addressing, accurate postal coding, and census tract information are all at their fingertips. This ensures that the final report is as complete and accurate as possible, requiring fewer callbacks and revisions. A real money saver for busy appraisal clients.
The report is done. Now how is the digital appraiser going to leverage his investment in technology to improve the delivery process? Modern appraisers have forsaken the old print-and-snail mail route for a much more efficient electronic delivery system. Utilizing Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) files, an appraiser can deliver a complete, multi-page report, complete with digital photos and maps, through simple e-mail. We also provide submission tools to upload reports in XML and ENV formats thru any lender's preferred platform or portal. Now, instead of waiting for the daily mail, or paying for expensive courier services, appraisal customers can simply log into their company email system and retrieve all the appraisals at one time. Without wasting paper printing the appraisal, it can be routed to the appropriate loan officer or title company in the blink of an electron.
More advanced organizations are leveraging a la mode's net.X network to not only order appraisals but also to manage the delivery process. Before an appraisal is ever delivered, this cutting-edge technology reviews the report and ensures that it meets certain guidelines. Have enough comparables been used? Has the appraiser included a statement of limiting conditions? These items can be checked automatically and the appraiser notified of the deficiency without the client ever getting involved. Now, when the final report is received, the client can be sure the appraisal meets all the basic criteria. Once again, costly follow-up and revisions are avoided, lowering everybody's cost of doing business.
It would be wonderful if appraisers could complete a report, deliver it, and never worry about seeing that document again. But one of the purposes of an appraisal is as a legal document outlining the condition of the property at the time of sale. So appraisers must keep their reports for 5 years, allowing them to recall any appraisal at any time to either defend the valuation or to be used in other legal proceedings.
Here again, the digital appraiser leverages his investment in technology to improve service. By storing every aspect of the appraisal - notes, sketches, supporting documentation, and calculations - along with the appraisal, the professional is able to retrieve that report at any time within the five years and recall just what that report was about. And this data is not stored in boxes stacked 5 deep in some rented warehouses. Instead, the digital appraiser uses technology like a la mode's Digital Workfile to electronically include all supporting documents as part of the appraisal file. These files are stored securely on searchable media, such as a la mode's Vault, where the appraiser can find them in a fraction of the time required in the past. This helps appraisal clients by giving them immediate, virtual access to any appraisal they've ordered within the past 5 years.
These are just a few examples of how technologically advanced appraisers are improving the business workflows of their customers. Investing in the right software, services, gadgets, and gizmos allows the appraiser to deliver reports quicker, more efficiently, and with higher degrees of accuracy. All of this helps keep the appraiser's costs down and save his clients time and money. This is why local and national lenders, mortgage companies, credit unions, and banks choose us as valued partners.
Homeowner Appraisal Services
Homeowners need appraisals or appraisal reviews for a variety of reasons, including a mortgage refinance, home equity loans, Pre-listing services, and PMI removal. When you order an appraisal or review from us, you can rest assured that you will get the best in professional service, courtesy, and quality.
Refinance / Home Equity
Be sure that you request us if your lender asks you for YOUR choice of appraisal firms. More than likely we are already on their "approved list", and if not we will quickly provide your lender with the necessary documentation to become approved.
For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) / Pre-Listing Services
It's very hard to be objective about your own home because of your emotional attachment to it. A Professional Appraiser is objective and will tell you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear. In addition to helping you set a realistic selling price so your home will attract buyers, a professional appraisal is very valuable as a negotiating tool once you have a potential buyer. It gives you something concrete to show your buyer. It's an independent third party's opinion of your home's value, and not just you saying how much your home is worth. Potential buyers know you have an emotional attachment to your home and will be far more likely to give credibility to a professional appraiser's value opinion than yours.
PMI Removal Appraisals
A popular money saver for homeowners in the last few years is to get the PMI removed from their mortgage loan, thus saving them money on their monthly payments. PMI stands for "Private Mortgage Insurance". Once your mortgage loan amount is down below 80% of the value of your home, in most cases you can apply to the lender to have the PMI removed from your loan, which will make your monthly payments go down. We are experienced in helping folks just like you rid themselves of unneeded and unwanted PMI insurance.
Field and Desktop Appraisal Review Services
Have you just received a copy of your appraisal and you'd like to have a professional "double-check" it for accuracy or do you need a second opinion without the expense and delay of waiting for a whole new appraisal?
- Appraisal Field Reviews: Well-check your appraisal for accuracy and provide exterior "field inspections" of the subject and comparable properties for maximum appraisal certainty. Perfect for any situation demanding a second opinion on value.
- Appraisal Desk Reviews: In a hurry and just want to "double-check" the facts? Well, use our extensive Internet research capabilities and office files to deliver reviews with the highest degree of precision in the industry.