MortgageReal Estate

First American launches new appraisal solutions technology

Now offers hybrid appraisal tools

First American Mortgage Solutions, a subsidiary of First American Financial Corp. and provider of solutions covering the entire residential loan spectrum, launched its new appraisal solutions technology and brought on its first network of in-house appraisers.

The new offering features hybrid and alternative valuations as well as appraisal technology and analytics. With the launch, First American also expanded its data foundations reaching 100% coverage for U.S. property ownership data. It also launched its own homeowners association database and expanded the company’s property tax database.

“The introduction of First American Staff Appraisals marks the completion of our integration of Forsythe Appraisals,” said Kevin Wall, First American Mortgage Solutions president.

Here are some of the new tools First American’s new appraisal solution offers:

Traditional Appraisal Solutions – Clients will be able to make one stop through a traditional appraisal management company service. Clients can go through the appraiser network using the company’s AMC, or they can interact directly with the appraisers in 50 markets through First American Staff Appraisals, formerly Forsythe Appraisals.

Alternative and Hybrid Solutions – First American offers options to clients that combines the expertise of real estate appraisals with the support of appraisal technology, allowing for a more timely and cost-effective approach.

Valuation Data and Analytics – In addition, First American will also offer its full suite of data products which, among other things, gives appraisers a 360 degree view of the property and surroundings as well as a suite of information on the property in order to expedite the process.

This solution could also go a long way toward helping what a study from the National Association of Realtors calls one of the major issues facing the appraisal industry: turnaround time.

In fact, at a housing summit in November hosted by Urban Institute and CoreLogic, several speakers including Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson said that closing times for loans could be much quicker than they are now.

So what’s keeping lenders from closing a loan in a week and a half instead of a month and a half? Appraisers.

First American’s appraisal offering could now change that, shortening wait times as it combines technology with the traditional appraisal process.

This new offering confirms what experts explained in HousingWire’s March webinar about the state of the appraisal industry. An issue that weighed on a lot of peoples’ minds was if they’d even have a job for them in the future. 

Thus the conversation opened with the big question: Will technology replace appraisers?

The short answer from Zach Dawson, Fannie Mae director of collateral strategy: No. However, he did acknowledge it would bring a change to the industry. Read more about that here.

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