If you’re a Realtor® working in the appraisal industry, you’ve had a lot of work to do to assemble your reports. You’ve had to consult multiple sources including the MLS, the deed reporter, and the tax assessor. You’ve had to print out copies of each of the screens with relevant information, and then you’ve had to take each piece of information needed from your printouts and PDFs, writing down facts and figures or incorporating them into an Excel spreadsheet as an intermediate place to keep the data, before finally assembling the data into your forms software.
RPR’s Sales Comparison Analysis Tools and Valuation Workbook can make the appraiser’s life much easier. They feature an MLS-like interface for zeroing in on properties with an address bar. Once you’ve homed in on a property, photos and maps sit side by side with MLS and public records data, the RVM® (RPR’s Realtor Valuation Model® is an automated valuation model (AVM) that takes MLS data into account), prior sales, present and historical taxation data and mortgage records, parcel information, and house attributes such as number of rooms. Bringing all this data together reduces the number of websites that have to be consulted to put together an appraisal to one: RPR’s.
Alongside property attributes derived from MLS and tax data are fields that allow you to change those attributes. The power to alter the data so that it conforms to your observations and inspection is a key feature that keeps popping up everywhere in the RPR system. An entire page is devoted to refining home value through changing parameters for market and home conditions, using sliders that allow you to quantify subjective parameters such as exterior condition.
The feature that you will use most is the Sales Comparison Analysis Tool. First, you adjust the property facts, which cover almost identical ground to the Fannie Mae Form 1004. Then, you bring in comps, using an MLS-like search that allows you to search on a wide range of criteria. You update information for the comps, which affects the comps’ value, which in turn trickles down to affect the RVM® for your subject house. You can adjust weighting of comps by percentage. Finally, you can generate a PDF report: a valuation workbook.
If there is one area where RPR’s system could be extended, it is in the area of the PDF report. Although RPR’s system gives appraisers access to all the data they will need for their reports, in the end the data is locked into the PDF file or its printout. The data does not make the final step on the computer from the RPR website to the appraiser’s forms software. As a result, you’re still transcribing. RPR could work toward integrating with some of the competing appraisal forms packages. The result could be a completely digital domain for appraisal, in which appraisers move from RPR data through forms software to the electronic submissions that Fannie Mae is turning to. RPR has gone nearly the whole distance when it comes to making the appraisal process simpler and more convenient; it just has the last few yards to go.
Most MLSs have historically not done much to make the appraiser’s life easier but, if your MLS has partnered with and integrated RPR, appraisers can really benefit from the recent RPR innovations.
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