Real estate being a complex business and real estate appraisal a complicated one, for a lender, choosing the right appraisal company has always been a difficult task. Real estate appraisal is an area where compliance with all the rules and relevant Acts, transparency of the process, and quality and professionalism of the services are of utmost importance. Besides, this is an ever-changing industry with new needs, new trends, and new rules and regulations coming in with every twist and turn of the market. This warrants the need for extreme care by lenders and mortgage specialists while choosing their real estate appraisal management service providers. Lenders need to consider a range of features right from ease of ordering services to expertise in ensuring compliance with all federal, state and local regulations and guidelines.
A simple way to make sure that your prospective appraisal management company are experts in their business is by enquiring about the number of years of experience they have in the business as well as by checking out their portfolio of clients and their standing and reputation in the industry.
Before appointing any appraisal management company, the lender has to make sure they have the appropriate licenses, insurance, etc. It would be good to check if the appraisers have the right qualifications and experience in the types of property that the lender needs appraised. Most appraisal companies will claim to have a nationwide coverage. However, this will have to be confirmed at the outset, especially if the lenders have large volumes of business across various states.
The appraisal company should have all the state registrations in place. It should also be confirmed that the company ensures all the statutory compliances such as those relating to Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the U. S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Consumer Protection Act.
The availability of the appraisers and their easy accessibility is of great importance. This would ease the process for the lenders, as their concerns and issues can be handled and solved efficiently and in a timely fashion. A user-friendly ordering system with availability of the appraisers or their staff online round the clock makes ordering simple and convenient. In addition to being available and accessible any time, the appraisers should also have a thorough system for updates along with regular follow-up, which would add to the efficiency of the process. In addition to the quality, accuracy and timeliness of submitting reports, the appraisers should also be flexible to provide customized services that cater to customer-specific requirements and revisions. The right appraisal company should be able to work in tandem with the lender's team.
To conclude with a word of caution, lenders should check themselves from being tempted to employ the company that charges the lowest, which could turn out to be an expensive mistake after all. It should also be understood that it is not the large size of an appraisal company that makes it trustworthy, but its adherence to the best practices of the real estate industry.