Service providers are using alliances, technology and enhanced offerings to improve the accuracy of real estate valuations. The improvements are being made to automated valuation models as well as to the appraisal ordering process.
Leading automated valuation models can be ranked based on accuracy with Collateral Value Connector, Equifax announced last month. AVMs are ranked by the AVM cascade at the county level.
Equifax said it partnered with Southwest Financial Services Ltd. -- a national provider of appraisal management, title, flood zone determination and valuation services -- to independently test and validate the AVMs available through the service.
A July 23 news release from Veros highlighted an update to its appraisal risk scoring tool, VeroSCORE, that focuses on the complexity of the appraisal assignment and includes several new scoring factors within its credibility score component to improve assessment of appraisal risk. The enhancement includes a measure of the difficulty of the appraisal assignment.
Mortgage Daily advertiser Global DMS announced in July the integration of its valuation management platform into DataQuick's Collateral Validation Solution. Using in-depth area-based metrics, trending and other factors, the enhanced offering promises to provide more accurate valuations.
An earlier announcement from Lansdale, Pa.-based Global DMS indicated that Appraisal Nation Inc., an appraisal management company based in Cary, N.C., grew its business by more than 1,000 percent with the help of Global DMS' eTrac platform.
The LPS Loan Quality Gateway was integrated with Global DMS' eTrac enterprise platform, Lenders Processing Services Inc. reported in June. The move enables mutual clients to seamlessly access the eTrac platform for efficient, compliant appraisal transaction processing.
A variety of recently released features for Coester Valuation Management Services' Cloud Control System are intended to increase user efficiency and enhance the overall client experience.
An appraisal audit service was launched in May by Collateral Risk Solutions Inc. The service was created in response to new regulations requiring lenders and AMC's to perform post closing appraisal audits.
"Our appraisal audit service is primarily performed by our own staff of specially trained appraisal auditors," Collateral Risk Solutions Chief Executive Officer Joel Meredith said in an announcement. "This allows us to maximize efficiency which in turn results in tremendous cost savings to our clients. Included in the service is a compilation of relevant performance data from each appraisal to assist our clients in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the sample selected, and in identifying any problematic trends or areas in need of improvement."
A partnership recently announced between LoanLogics' LoanHD and Platinum Data Solutions promises clients more accurate AVM values.
"Accuracy is improved because the AVMs Platinum Data offers include data from a network of public and local private databases that is unmatched in the mortgage industry," the statement said. "The AVMs used are consistently calibrated for accuracy and updated with the most current data available."
Platinum said in June that it partnered with InHouse Inc. to integrate its RealView appraisal quality verification technology with InHouse's Connexions appraisal management platform. As a result of the alliance, clients can "manage the appraisal process and verify appraisal quality and compliance in a way that precisely fits their unique business objectives."
New branches were announced last week by Metro-West Appraisal Co. LLC in Anaheim, Calif.; Boise, Idaho; Indianapolis; and Nashville, Tenn. The additions bring Collateral Valuation Report-certified appraisers who are on staff to more than 175. They are located in 50 metropolitan markets throughout 30 states.
Nashville-based Metro-West, which was founded in 1987, claims to be "the largest staff appraisal firm in the nation that is not affiliated with an AMC or a lender."
Half of the appraisers surveyed by United States Appraisal answered "mildly or moderately strong" to the question, "What is your current level of confidence in the housing market?" The AMC, a Mortgage Daily advertiser, surveyed its own panel of appraisers for the report. In the first quarter, 55 percent had such an outlook.
But when it came to values, 71 percent reported an increase in their local areas versus less than two thirds in the previous report.
An online survey conducted during the second quarter by Nationwide Appraisal Network of 279 borrowers who had appraisals completed by the AMC found that 94 percent of the respondents rated their appraisers' professionalism as good or better.
A customized integration with Mercury Enterprise Vendor Framework has been deployed by SierraPacific Mortgage, according to an announcement this week from a la mode, a Mortgage Daily advertiser. The move is expected to streamline appraisal orders from all of SierraPacific's origination channels while improving appraisal quality and reducing turnaround. In addition, security measures reportedly ensure compliance with appraiser independence requirements.
McLean Mortgage Corp. signed on for SharperLending LLC's Appraisal Firewall service, an announcement last month indicated. McLean Mortgage executive Nathan Burch said the lender hopes use the service to centralize control over the appraisal ordering process at its branches and to comply with related regulations.
In May, Quandis Inc. said that Bankers Asset Management is using its web-based valuation system to streamline the entire broker price opinion process. The move enables Bankers Asset to "effectively manage the placement, receipt, distribution, processing and automatic delivery of BPO orders."
Accurity Valuation has adopted seven custom appraisal report packs as well as a forensic review checklist from ACI, a May 21 news release said. As a result, Accurity affiliate members and clients will reportedly benefit from a uniform appraisal report package fortified by documentation and tools that better support each value conclusion.