The traditional appraisal process is based on a tried and true methodology that has withstood the test of time. But in recent years, data and technology has been changing the way valuations are performed, validated, and delivered. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated change at an unprecedented pace.
Here are three key developments in appraisal and valuation services, and how they benefit all stakeholders in the real estate transaction.
1. Mobile technology adoption by in-person appraisers
Though the traditional appraisal process has not changed dramatically, appraisers are increasingly integrating mobile technology into their practices—improving their workflow and saving valuable time.
For example, Radian’s new MyRadian Appraisals app is designed to shorten appraisal turn times by streamlining the appraiser’s daily tasks and gamifying the experience with a reward program.
By digitizing tasks that were previously done manually via phone or email—from scheduling appointments with the homeowner, to providing updates to the appraisal management company—appraisers create a better experience for themselves and for the buyers, sellers and agents they work with.
2. The rise of remote appraisals
In many places across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the homebuying process overnight. Because of the need for social distancing, many of the face-to-face aspects of our business became impossible, and alternatives like virtual showings and in-car closings became the norm.
The industry’s ability to adapt demonstrates that technology can help us value and transact properties remotely, with great results.
Automated brokerage valuation services like the Radian Interactive Value, provided by Radian’s subsidiary Red Bell Real Estate, LLC, provide clients access to curated information and analytics supported by MLS data. This interactive valuation service allows Red Bell clients to view photos, maps, and other data simultaneously, giving them a virtual view of the condition of the property and surrounding comparables.
Automated valuation capabilities like this not only offer safety during a pandemic, they also offer faster turn times, lower costs, and the peace of mind brought by having a valuation that is grounded in current data and expert analysis.
3. Better, more timely housing market intelligence
Mortgage and real estate professionals rely on local, regional and national housing market data—but there are limitations to many of the common data sources.
For instance, the major national home price indices are based on homes that have transacted each month—leaving out more than 99% of the US housing stock. Plus, the reporting lag can be up to three months, meaning the data is often outdated by the time it is released.
By contrast, Red Bell’s Radian Home Price Index values more than 90 million unique addresses each month, and releases data within two weeks. That makes it possible for users to access a highly granular and timely view of patterns and trends in real estate prices, from the national level to micro-markets.
These are just a few of the ways that data and technology-driven advancements in appraisal and valuation services provide solutions that are more accurate, more efficient and more economical for the customers involved. For real estate agents and their clients, certain of these benefits can translate to better knowledge of neighborhood and market trends, insights on when to sell and where to buy, more informed offers and price negotiation, and faster home appraisals and loan approvals that get you to the closing table sooner.
Radian is ensuring the American dream of homeownership responsibly and sustainably through products and services that include industry-leading mortgage insurance and a comprehensive suite of mortgage, risk, title, valuation, asset management and other real estate services. We are powered by technology, informed by data and driven to deliver new and better ways to transact and manage risk. Visit radian.com to learn more about how Radian is shaping the future of mortgage and real estate services.