Clients score with launch of HomeBase

Appraisal management company develops tool to stem appraisal delays

Clients score with launch of HomeBase

Originators wear their loan processing times as a badge of honor. It’s difficult, then, when loan closings get delayed through no fault of the originator. What’s even more frustrating is when the process gets stuck because of appraisals – or more specifically, because those parties involved in the appraisal process don’t get on the same page quickly when it comes to coordinating appraisal appointments.

HomeBase was launched in May by Valuation Partners, a national appraisal management company that provides vendor management, appraisal reviews, collateral assessment, broker price opinions and appraiser-assisted products to the mortgage industry. HomeBase was developed to help eliminate appraisal delays and it is also meant to complement and contribute to the changing consumer experience given the increasing number of lenders moving to digital mortgage platforms.

With HomeBase, the assignment team at Valuation Partners assigns an order to an appraiser, as usual. A secure link is then sent to the borrower and also to the point of entry contact – or the listing agent, in a purchase transaction – sharing the specific details of the order, including the lender name, the product type, the purchase, and the address of the property to be appraised, along with the appraiser’s name, contact information, and other identifying information.

“What we’re trying to do is provide transparency to the consumer and the parties involved of all the details of the transaction so that they can see the accuracy of the information,” said Clint Reinhardt, senior vice president of national sales and marketing manager at Valuation Partners. “[We] get all the parties involved in the coordination of the inspection and that helps in expediting the process; if we get everybody contributing to the process, the earlier we can get access to the property. Because usually, that’s part of the slowest part of the appraisal.”

The tool isn’t just for those involved on the lending side to help expedite appraisals. There’s also an educational component that gives peace of mind to customers, who Reinhardt says are often left in the dark when it comes to an appraisal. Using HomeBase, customers know exactly what to expect and, from a security standpoint, who is going to be in their home.

“We’re trying to get more of a comfort level to the consumer with what to expect when an appraiser comes to the property, so there’s a link there that shares bullet points outlining the steps that an appraiser will most likely follow when they come to the home. What are they going to do? They’re going to take pictures, they’re going to measure, they’re going to identify themselves when they come to the door, show their license, that type of thing. So we’re trying to set the expectations so they know what’s normal when someone comes to a home or when they go to a home that you may be purchasing,” Reinhardt said.

The lender has always had the information as regards to appraisal status, but this proprietary tool expands upon the information available and shares it – along with the status – with the point of entry contact and the consumer. HomeBase is available to originators/lenders who have to have a relationship with Valuation Partners to utilize the HomeBase product.