Feeling at Ease About Appraisals During COVID-19

There’s a lot of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety in the world today. Personally, most people are concerned about themselves or a loved one catching COVID-19. Many people are worried about the economy and losing their jobs. And on the business front, there are unique concerns in the mortgage industry, such as new kinds of appraisals (click here to read about desktop appraisals) and new procedures prior to opening up a home for an appraisal (click here to read best practices).

For a couple of months now, record low interest rates have driven a huge volume of refis, which is a boon to the mortgage industry, but also stressful. Due to increased volume, the closing process is taking longer, and appraisers are in high demand.

With all the sources of uncertainty in the world today, lenders can take one worry off their plate and feel more at ease by partnering with Triserv. The foundation we have set with our core competencies over the past 12 years is serving us - and more importantly, our lender clients - well during this unusual time. Here are a few examples.

Streamlining COVID-19-Impacted Orders: One of our clients gave us a great idea. We’re all aware of the uncertainty surrounding the type of appraisal that might be available on any order. Our stance has been to let the lender decide what they desire. Whenever we get an order for a full 1004, we then submit the order to an appraiser requiring the requisite 1004. As you can expect, often we’ll get pushback from the appraiser indicating they will not do a full 1004, but will provide an acceptable alternative. This information is then conveyed back to the lender, which inevitably increases the turn-time.

Thanks to the fact that we own our own technology platform, within a matter of two hours, our software developers had added a checkbox where we can indicate whether or not an alternative appraisal is acceptable. If this box is checked at the placement of an order, we will automatically modify the appraiser instructions to a modified scope of work, and it will highlight and flag in our review department as a "modified scope of work" order. Appropriate quality review checks will be conducted to ensure proper comments and exhibits by the appraiser and a notification to our lender client as to the type of appraisal completed.

Having this information upfront helps us save a potential 2-3 day delay off the turnaround time. And our flexible platform allows us to quickly and easily customize each lender’s profile, even down to billing preferences.

Having a Wide Network of Appraisers: We’ve got an extremely large number of appraisers across the country, which has allowed us to consistently handle over 10,000 orders a month without missing a beat. In our database, we’ve added information as to which appraisers will not do interior inspections at this time. If a lender requires an interior inspection, we’ll ensure we place the order with an appraiser who will do one, minimizing back-and-forth time in placing the assignment.

Business Continuity Plan: We’ve honed our Business Continuity Plan over the years. We’ve always had a certain percentage of our workforce work from home, and right now, 100% of our team members are working from home. There have been no delays, no technology glitches, no problems. Everything is seamless, and indeed, we’ve even increased productivity in the face of incredible volume. The responses we’ve received from our lender clients, as well as from our national panel of appraisers, have been overwhelmingly positive.

There’s enough to worry about right now. You shouldn’t have to feel anxious about getting appraisals done quickly and accurately, without any hassles. There is a better way.

For more resources on maintaining appraiser continuity during this time, please click here.

Triserv will be releasing additional information on how COVID-19 is impacting the appraisal process. We invite you to sign up below to receive those updates. We look forward to being a resource for you in these challenging times.