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Appraisal Assistant Advertisement

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hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I just received an unsolicited email from a company that provides fill-out-the-report assistance.
The email indicates that the information "may be confidential" and therefore I'm not identifying the sender or excerpting from the email.
But I can talk about the generalities of the service-offering.

For around $10-$20/report, it says if I
  1. Provide MLS sheets
  2. Subject/Comps tax records
  3. Market Condition Sheet
  4. Plat map

It will then complete the following sections:
  • Neighborhood boundaries
  • Site description (physical characteristics) including zoning and FEMA information
  • It will fill-out the improvement characteristics section (how, based on the limited info it asks for, I'm not sure?)
  • Input all the comps
  • Provide the prior sales history
  • Complete the 1004MC
  • Include the subject and comparable photos (It didn't ask for it in the list; not sure how they are going to get that data)
  • Create the location map
  • Insert the Plat map, flood zone map, and zoning map
  • Include the sketch (again, I presume this is something I have to provide)

They're standard turn-time is 8-12 hours.
A rush is 4-6 hours.

I think the email must be missing something, because they are not asking for my property inspection sheet or for my photos of the subject/comparables. But, maybe they use MLS and Google Earth photos?


This company is located back east, so I'm sure many appraisers have received a similar solicitation.
 

KYLECODY

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
I just received an unsolicited email from a company that provides fill-out-the-report assistance.
The email indicates that the information "may be confidential" and therefore I'm not identifying the sender or excerpting from the email.
But I can talk about the generalities of the service-offering.

For around $10-$20/report, it says if I
  1. Provide MLS sheets
  2. Subject/Comps tax records
  3. Market Condition Sheet
  4. Plat map

It will then complete the following sections:
  • Neighborhood boundaries
  • Site description (physical characteristics) including zoning and FEMA information
  • It will fill-out the improvement characteristics section (how, based on the limited info it asks for, I'm not sure?)
  • Input all the comps
  • Provide the prior sales history
  • Complete the 1004MC
  • Include the subject and comparable photos (It didn't ask for it in the list; not sure how they are going to get that data)
  • Create the location map
  • Insert the Plat map, flood zone map, and zoning map
  • Include the sketch (again, I presume this is something I have to provide)

They're standard turn-time is 8-12 hours.
A rush is 4-6 hours.

I think the email must be missing something, because they are not asking for my property inspection sheet or for my photos of the subject/comparables. But, maybe they use MLS and Google Earth photos?


This company is located back east, so I'm sure many appraisers have received a similar solicitation.

I took the free trial on something like this years ago. Decided after all the uploading and pulling docs anyways all they were doing was saving a few minutes on typing. Then, like was said, having to go back in and verify their accuracy there was no time savings at all.

There are a couple "new ones" of this that auto imports the comps from my MLS with the MLS data listed, adds graphs within my parameters, fills out the 1004mc and populates the forms with this data where applicable. Not a third party human typing but straight computer voodoo/instant transfer thingie. I never send anything out or wait on others and its basically instantaneous. A few clicks on my mouse and it autoimports all it needs to. I don't find it magic like others do but the one I use, in Alamodes toolkit or whatever thats called, does save me roughly 15 minutes on average from typing the comps in the grid and is worth a few bucks to me. Roughly $3 a report I think.
 
Last edited:

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I agree, Kyle, with you and Ms. Janet: for my workflow, I don't see a big time savings here using this automated system.

Now, I have an assistant (a paid employee) who gathers a lot of the routine information (zoning standards, zoning map, property profile sheet; she enters the order as they are accepted which pre-fills some of the residential form software information, etc.) but I've trained her and she knows when to stop and call something to my attention and I know where to look in the data records to confirm something she's researched, etc.
Don't get me wrong: I value her assistance and she makes my job a lot easier (I can spend more time on the analysis and less time on the data-gathering and mundane form-filling). Her greatest value to the organization (all three of us) is her interface with existing clients and her filtering and per-research of potential assignments from new or one-off clients. I get more, better-paying assignments with her than without her, for sure.

To outsource the form-filling part (as advertised in the solicitation I received) doesn't seem worth it to my business model or market.
In another market and a different business model, maybe it is worthwhile (notwithstanding the questions I have on how thorough they can complete the form with the limited information they appear to ask for).
 

bnmappraisal

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I've received similar unsolicited in the past. I've never followed up with any of them as, like you Denis, doesn't really fit my personal business model either.
This part from your OP jumped out at me as well:
Include the subject and comparable photos (It didn't ask for it in the list; not sure how they are going to get that data)
I wonder if the appraiser is supposed to provide the pics (again, as you state, wasn't in their original list) or if they use MLS pics?
Either way, not in my plan either, but thanks for sharing
 

Vermonter

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Vermont
I don’t get the assistant thing. If I have to pull all the data and then check it before it goes out, I might as well do it myself!

Exactly. I had assistants in the past and data entry was the very last thing I would have them do. None were trainees, so there was no need.

I guess maybe if you are a really slow form filer then maybe there could be a time savings?
 

Tom4value

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Massachusetts
This “assistant service” has been around a long time. We call them....appraisers!

Call me “old school” but describing the neighborhood, the improvements and entering the comp information is the job of the appraiser. I know if I had a health issue, I wouldn’t want my examination and diagnosis farmed out to a service and tell wher the surgeon to cut. Sounds to me like a major USPAP issue.
 

DTB

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
This “assistant service” has been around a long time. We call them....appraisers!

Call me “old school” but describing the neighborhood, the improvements and entering the comp information is the job of the appraiser. I know if I had a health issue, I wouldn’t want my examination and diagnosis farmed out to a service and tell wher the surgeon to cut. Sounds to me like a major USPAP issue.

UGGH I thought I'd seen enough of the appraiser doctor comparisons, now it's appraiser-surgeon.
 

Dean

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
i have a girl who types my reports. I do all of my inspections on Total for mobile ap and she downloads it when im finished. I trained here over a few months to the point that i fully trust in what she is typing. While i still double check all the data, not having to personally type it all has been a life saver on my carpal Tunnel issues
 
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