Find answers to common questions about the appraisal industry and our process at Class.
An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of the value of a home/property and is used whenever a mortgage is involved in the buying, refinancing, or selling of that property.
An Appraisal Management Company, or AMC, is an independent entity through which mortgage lenders order appraisal services. AMCs fulfill an administrative function in the appraisal process, including selecting an independent appraiser and delivering the completed report to the lender. Individual appraisers who contract with the AMC (but do not necessarily work exclusively for that AMC) provide the actual property valuation services.
AMCs use a variety of methods and algorithms to select the best appraiser for each assignment based on many variables. Some of these variables include: distance from the subject property, experience and geographical knowledge of the area, professional standing and qualifications, current capacity, on-time rate, etc.
If you don’t agree with the value of the appraisal, the mortgage professional who submitted the order for the appraisal has the opportunity to submit a value dispute, or Reconsideration of Value (ROV). An ROV can be submitted to Class, including an outline of why you do not agree with the value. This can (and should) identify things like errors or inaccuracies on the report, different comparable sales from the area, or anything that you feel changes the value of the subject property. This ROV is reviewed by our management team, who then works with the appraiser to come up with a final decision. Learn more or begin an ROV request here.
An appraisal includes a few steps. First, the appraiser contacts the listed “point of contact” (usually the current homeowner and/or listing agent) and schedules the inspection. There are several different types of appraisals and inspections that go along with this. Some are exterior only, some are interior and exterior, and some even include a professional property photographer virtually scanning the full interior of the property.
Following the inspection, the appraiser completes a report – identifying all details of the home that add or detract from the property value. The appraiser also compares the subject property to other homes in the area (called “Comps”) that have sold recently. In this process, they look for homes with similar build, room count, geographic similarities, and recently sold properties.
Once the appraiser comes up with a value, the completed report is sent back to the Class Valuation. We run the report through our Class INtelligence rules engine to rapidly identify possible issues. Our quality control team then reviews the report for errors or missing information flagged by Class INtelligence. If revisions are needed, it is returned to the appraiser. Once the revisions are completed, the appraisal is considered complete and is returned to the lender.
How long an appraisal takes may vary substantially based on many variables, including overall market volume, property location, property complexity, appraiser capacity, and revision needs. This can generally range from a few days to a few weeks. If you’re a broker and would like to understand more accurate turn time averages in your region, log in to Fast Track Pro and click “County Dashboard.” This will show you the average turn times from Class Valuation for the last 30 days in each county nationwide.
Once the appraisal report is complete, it will be turned in to the lender. Once the lender has your completed report, homeowners/borrowers can request a copy directly through the lender/broker.
Appraisals need to be ordered by the mortgage professional managing/coordinating the loan. If this is you, and you are looking to place your first order, visit the Class Appraisal Scope page to get started. If you are a homeowner or borrower, you must work through your broker or lender for this process as we do not contract directly with consumers.
Preparing for an appraisal is simple! You can expect a call from the appraiser to schedule the inspection. Prior to the inspection, make sure that all rooms are easily accessible as the appraiser will need to see (and possibly photograph) every room. Also make sure the home is clear of any possible hazards, such as exposed wire, etc.
At this time, Class Valuation does not contract directly with homeowners or borrowers.
If you are a mortgage broker looking for an update on your appraisal, you can visit Fast Track Pro and log in with your Appraisal Scope credentials for an update on all active orders in your pipeline. If you are a homeowner or borrower, you must work with your broker for status updates as we are legally only able to provide full order details to our contracted clients.
If you’re an appraiser, or know an appraiser who is interested in joining the Class Valuation network, you can sign up here.
Talk to an expert on our team to get the information you need.