HouseCanary’s Agile Appraisal is a web-based platform for real estate appraisals that is ideal for appraisers, lenders and real estate investors.
Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.
HouseCanary’s Agile Appraisal is a web-based platform for real estate appraisals.
Platforms: Browser; mobile-optimized for tablets
Ideal for: Appraisers; lenders; real estate investors
Top selling points
- Incorporation of HouseCanary data tools
- Pre-population of comparables data by inspectors
- Online dashboard for appraisal project management
Industry adoption. The appraisal industry remains challenged by a lack of practitioners and higher costs, especially in California.
What you should know
I wrote a few weeks ago about the launch of Agile Appraisal, having only spoken to the company about it and seen a few screenshots.
I had a full look at the product last week, and now have a better understanding of its potential benefits for the appraisal industry.
The underwriting process is the “dark zone” for homebuyers. It’s the time during the sale when they don’t have much insight into what’s happening each day with their potential new home.
Agile Appraisal places a lot of efficiency in the hands of this important part of a home sale. So important, in fact, that its findings are what truly back the real estate economy. Price on paper is one thing; price without hard facts is a totally different story.
By no means does this product seek to replace the boots-on-the-ground wisdom of appraisers — it actually elevates them.
The process starts with HouseCanary’s extensive community and sale data populating a report. It’s then handed off to property inspectors to fill in any blanks and augment local information.
Appraisers are then provided with a suite of tools, including HouseCanary’s Home Price Index graphs, to finalize the property’s value. Multiple listing service (MLS) information is always at the ready, and photos are provided by the initial home inspector.
The “busy work” is greatly shortened for the appraiser, allowing them to focus more on providing their expertise than worrying about the subject property owner’s dog chasing them out of the yard.
They can access data-rich maps to nail down comparables or use HouseCanary’s modeling tools to choose from a list of similar properties.
The entire user interface is very consumer-user themed. It looks like an iPhone app, something an appraiser would use when they’re not appraising.
The idea behind a colorful, icon-driven user interface is to increase adoption, of course, but more importantly to eliminate the inclusion of anything except data pertinent to providing an accurate appraisal.
There is a lot of information offered in Agile Appraisal to be sure, but the user is given options instead of being forced to access data they may not need or want to include. Layers of data can be turned on and off, and a polygon tool lets users hand select specific areas to study.
Final reports look sharp and easy to read, understand and share.
Appraisers using Agile Appraisal should be able to move through projects very quickly and acurately. The dashboard tracks current projects and proposed appraisals, which users can accept or deny.
Ultimately, this software is doing precisely what software should do: augment (not replace) professional human expertise. And it’s doing it in a traditionally dark, administrative corner of the real estate transaction.
Recommend Agile Appraisal to your preferred RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act)-approved mortgage partners.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.