Buying a home today looks very different than it did in previous decades. From virtual house tours to applying for a mortgage online, the real estate industry has embraced new technology, weaving it into many of its processes.
The home appraisal industry is beginning to use more technology, too. If you are buying or selling a home and you’ve gone through an appraisal before, you may be surprised at how tech has significantly improved the home appraisal process.
Our Focus on Appraisal Technologies
Kairos is a leading appraisal management company that leverages the latest technologies and data analytics tools to make home appraisals more streamlined. Using analytics and machine learning, we have been able to reduce appraisal reinspections, reduce inaccuracies, reduce turn times, and provide a better experience for all parties involved.
Read on to learn how technology improves the home appraisal process for the borrower, seller, real estate agent, mortgage lender, and licensed real estate appraiser.
Creating a Better Borrower Experience
At Kairos, we believe that borrowers should be educated about the appraisal process and prepared for the home inspection. We designed our Pocket Appraisal pre-appraisal tools to prep borrowers and eliminate surprises. We’ve found that by preventing surprises, we can create a better appraisal experience.
Guaranteed home appraisal fees and turn times
The biggest surprise that can ruin a borrower’s experience is when the home appraisal cost rises the day before the report is due. This typically happens when an appraiser isn’t aware of complexities before accepting the assignment.
Our pre-appraisal tools gather information about the subject property and then provide the appraiser with all the data in an easily digestible format. Kairos can then guarantee that our appraisal fees will not increase.
Our data analytics also find the most qualified appraiser, taking into account rotation compliance, appraiser experience, proximity to the property, and much more. That’s because the least expensive appraiser isn’t always the right person for the job. Pocket Appraisal’s pre-appraisal tools combine to prevent surprises, ensure quality, and deliver a positive borrower experience.
By using Pocket Appraisal, loan officers can get a realistic idea of what the home is worth, based on real comparable properties provided by real appraisers. In challenging markets, this can make a huge difference for how lenders structure the loan. It also sets realistic expectations for all parties.
At Kairos Appraisal, we take pride in the fact that we schedule over 50% of our appraisal inspections within one hour of receiving the request for an appraisal.
By using advanced communication strategies, we have removed the need for the appraiser to schedule inspections via phone tag and voicemails. Ending scheduling delays has shaved days off our home appraisal turn times. And our scheduling transparency has dramatically improved the mortgage professional’s experience, as well as the appraiser and borrower experiences.
To learn more about our pre-appraisal tools, check out this blog post.
More efficient appraisal inspections
By using home appraisal technologies, we can provide accurate information on the subject property to the appraiser before assignment and inspection.
This data complements the appraiser’s own research and gives them a more complete picture of the property and its special features before they ever step inside. This is especially useful if they will be appraising a unique property.
Technology is also used to streamline communication and scheduling between the appraiser and the homeowner. For example, alerts are sent to notify all parties when the real estate appraiser is on their way to the property and to provide their estimated arrival time.
Receiving these alerts in real time reduces safety concerns and allows for better preparation and time management. And for the appraiser, it allows them to focus on what they do best: determining what the home is worth.
Aligning the home appraisal process with the loan process
A home loan can be processed in 10 days, but the average turn time for a real estate appraisal can be up to 15 days depending on the type of appraisal. Organizing the appraisal process to be more in line with the timing of the mortgage application and loan origination processes has long been a challenge.
Through AI, machine learning, and integration, Kairos has figured out how to have our appraisal process keep up with today’s faster underwriting. In doing so, we have shortened our home appraisal turn times by more than 20% across the country.
Analytics give us valuable insight into local market trends and help us tweak policies to match up with changing market demands. A comparable live view of different markets provides proof that our changes positively affect the industry.
Using technology and analytics has sped up appraisals to better serve the loan process. Helping appraisers, mortgage lenders, brokers, and borrowers receive information faster makes the appraisal process more transparent and more positive for us all. Plus, it means less reliance on lender resources for managing the appraisal process.
Improved quality control
Kairos also uses data to improve our quality control process. This starts with making sure we pick the most qualified appraiser for the job. We track performance metrics on each appraiser based on location, subject property type, turn time, workload, communication, and more. That way we can confidently select the most capable real estate appraiser for each valuation while maintaining the highest standard of compliance.
For the home appraisal itself, we use data sources and tools that inform adjustment methodologies to guarantee that appraisers apply the most consistent and defensible adjustments. This is all backed by reliable data and analysis, and aided by a well-trained in-house quality control team. When done right, it eliminates potential biases and ensures the highest degree of accuracy for each and every residential valuation.
How Technology Improves the Home Appraisal Process
Kairos is modernizing home appraisals through innovative technology. This allows us to continue to evolve the appraisal process to be more effective, more streamlined, and more positive for all parties involved. The data that Pocket Appraisal provides before the appraisal process even begins helps us manage expectations early on, prepares borrowers for what’s ahead, and results in a better experience from start to finish.
For more on how technology improves the home appraisal process at Kairos, check out this blog post.