InsightsTech-enabled valuation solutions streamline the appraisal process

We can support lenders with any valuation need they may have - inspection-only, desktop, hybrid or full appraisal | ServiceLink

A full spectrum of data collection and valuation products are available to support lenders’ appraisal modernization initiatives. Here’s what you need to know.

Agility and efficiency are hallmarks of successful mortgage lenders in today’s dynamic market. Lenders must be prepared to not only pivot from purchase to refinance to home equity as consumer demand fluctuates, but also keep pace with GSE appraisal modernization initiatives.

Tech-enabled valuation solutions are key.

“Tech-enabled valuation solutions empower lenders to expand their capabilities, rev up their processes and performance and make the best real-time decisions for their borrowers and their businesses,” says Matthew Woodhouse, managing director, origination valuations. “Those that are moving toward a more digital valuation experience have more flexibility to respond to market opportunities as they arise.”

What that digital experience looks like can vary, depending on lenders’ specific needs and risk guidelines, but across the board, the application of GSE-compliant, tech-driven valuation tools can result in time, labor and cost savings.

“Appraisal has historically been a manually intensive process, with a lot of back-and-forth between lender, appraiser and borrower, plus appraisers had to complete on-site inspections for every loan,” says Phillip King, vice president, valuations product management. “Today, technology can do the heavy lifting. In fact, ServiceLink’s EXOS® platform was built to do exactly that. Our platform and mobile technologies digitize many steps in the process to drive efficiencies for the lender and create a faster, more seamless experience for borrowers.”

Streamlined appraisal management

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to update standards for data collection and reporting as they encourage lenders to modernize their valuation processes. Freddie’s property data report (PDR) and Fannie’s property data collection (PDC) come together under the Uniform Property Dataset (UPD), which sets out the requirements for inspection-only valuations.

“When a loan doesn’t qualify for a waiver, yet doesn’t require a full appraisal, the lender or their valuation partner sends an inspector (rather than a licensed appraiser) out to the property to collect photos, measure the home, build out a floor plan, and then answer some questions about the property. This cuts not only the valuation time but also the cost by about half when compared with a full appraisal,” says King. “At ServiceLink, we’ve updated our mobile inspection tools with features such as 3D capture, which provides 360-degree interior and exterior views, so all our inspectors can collect and report data in a UPD-compliant format. The lender can then submit this report to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or both.”

King adds that ServiceLink also supports lenders with desktop appraisals, which require appraiser expertise but no inspection, and hybrid appraisals (Fannie Mae 1004 Hybrid or Freddie Mac 70H), which combine data collection by an inspector with the development of a traditional appraisal by a licensed appraiser. ServiceLink has its own national panel of appraisers from which to choose.

“We can support lenders with any valuation need they may have — inspection-only, desktop, hybrid or full appraisal,” Woodhouse explains. “In circumstances where a full appraisal isn’t required by the GSE, tech-enabled valuation solutions allow us to avoid appraiser backlogs, quickly get an inspector out to a property, and deliver exactly what the lender needs to keep their loan moving forward expeditiously.”

Advanced scheduling systems and integration options

Another area where tech-enabled valuation solutions come into play is scheduling. In decades past, lenders understood that their valuation process could be bogged down for days as they tried to schedule each appraisal. Phone calls, emails and voice mails between borrower and lender, and lender and appraiser, proved to be an inefficient means of pinpointing the ideal date and time for the inspection.

Now flexible scheduling technology enables lenders that work with ServiceLink to book appraisals instantly. “Our platform, EXOS® Valuations, provides direct access to appraisers’ calendars so borrowers can instantly schedule an appraisal. We’re also embedding this scheduling functionality right into loan origination platforms so that loan processors can schedule on the fly or send a scheduling request to their contact. For example, lenders that use Encompass Partner Connect™ on the ICE Mortgage Technology® Platform can schedule the appraisal at the same time they place the order,” King explains.

ServiceLink’s commitment to facilitating the valuation process for lenders is apparent as accessibility to its technology grows. “We are connected to all the major loan origination systems (LOS) and can integrate with lenders’ value-added networks (VANs) to make ordering as convenient as possible,” says King. “We also offer direct integrations, right to the lender’s platform, and provide appraisal ordering through our own website.”

Preparing for what comes next

As appraisal modernization initiatives and tech-enabled valuation solutions continue to evolve, it’s vital for lenders to have a partner that can help them integrate new technologies, pivot with market demands and anticipate what may be coming next.

“The landscape is changing quickly right now, as appraisal modernization becomes a priority. It’s an exciting yet demanding time that requires industry experience as well as technology leadership,” says Woodhouse. “ServiceLink has decades of experience helping lenders optimize their capabilities within the parameters of their unique processes and requirements. Our focus now is to help lenders adapt to the changes and adopt new technologies as easily and smoothly as possible.”

© 2024 ICE Mortgage Technology, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Encompass® and the ICE Mortgage Technology logo and other trademarks appearing herein are trademarks of ICE Mortgage Technology, Inc. and its affiliates. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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