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Survey: More Appraisers Employ Technology

More appraisers are using technology to fulfill appraisal orders, according to a recent survey conducted by ""ValuFinders Inc."":http://www.valufinders.com, a provider of valuation services to national lenders, brokers, and government agencies. The survey also revealed a limited use of appraisal management companies (AMCs).
According to Joe Williams, president and CEO of ValuFinders, findings from a previous ValuFinders survey highlighted the need for appraiser independence because appraisers were often being inundated with requests from lenders to overvalue homes. This survey, Williams said, was aimed at discovering the methods appraisers are using to relieve some of that pressure, such as technology.
xComplete appraiser independence will be achieved only after lenders, brokers and appraisers accept that technology will help in achieving true independence,x Williams said.
%{=FONT-STYLE: italic; TEXT-DECORATION: underline}ValuFinders' most recent survey revealed the following: %
- 58 percent of appraisers said they use e-mail as the main method of obtaining and delivering appraisal orders. From the remaining appraisers surveyed, 18 percent use an online service;
- 40 percent responded that only one-fourth of their clients employ an online ordering system, while 32 percent answered that between one-half and three-fourths of their clients use them;
- 56 percent of appraisers surveyed use AMCs for one-fourth or less of their business. Notably, 52 percent of all those surveyed do not foresee that percentage increasing in the future; and
- 82 percent said they would consider being part of an online network where they could receive appraisal orders.
xA common misconception is that technology will eliminate brokers altogether,x Williams said. xInstead, systems such as ValuFindersx Appraisal CONCIERGE provide them continuous access to the entire process while allowing brokers to concentrate more on their core business, originating loans,x he explained.
Appraisal CONCIERGE is a national outsourcing database that places appraisal orders via the Web and creates a pool of qualified appraisers before randomly selecting one to fulfill the order. ValuFinders said that in support of the Home Valuation Protection Code and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, it strives to educate the mortgage industry on the benefits of using technology in selecting appraisers. The company additionally presents the ordering party with a certificate of independent appraiser selection to acknowledge that they have used Appraisal CONCIERGE to ensure third-party participation in the appraisal process.
Williams added, xLegislative changes are requiring originators to incorporate technology, and much of it is already available. Adopting the technology now will only help them be more competitive today and better prepared for the future.x

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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