For the next two months, United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) will credit borrowers up to $600 for their appraisal costs, the lender said in a statement Wednesday.
According to the Pontiac, Michigan-based lender, the credit will be available on all primary purchases, including jumbo mortgages. The offer will run from now until March 31.
Mat Ishbia, CEO of UWM, said in a statement that the move is meant to “jump-start purchase season” and that this offering will give independent mortgage brokers a significant edge with real estate agents and borrowers in a rising rate, purchase-focused environment.
“Partnering with an independent mortgage broker continues to be the best choice for real estate agents and consumers, and we’re adding one more reason why with the no-cost appraisal,” said Ishbia. “This tool will save homebuyers a lot of money and make the homebuying experience better for consumers and real estate agents alike.”
In September 2021, the top-ranked wholesale lender announced that it would no longer require its brokers to use appraisal management companies to complete appraisals.
Instead, UWM said that it would offer appraisals in-house, contracting with appraisers directly, which would allow appraisers and brokers to bypass appraisal management companies.
UWM’s Appraisal Direct program, which officially launched in October, oversees the entire appraisal process including scheduling, execution and delivery of the appraisal. Appraisers are selected based on a scorecard to asses’ geographic competencies and past performance, the wholesale lender said.
When the programs launched last year, UWM’s chief strategy officer, Alex Elezaj, noted that the company decided to offer an alternative to AMCs as a result of complaints about bad service, slow turn times and overcharging appraisers.
Elezaj, who was once the CEO of Class Appraisal, said that in a pilot of the AMC-free option, the lender noticed a notable improvement in the time to complete appraisals, without compromising on the compliance that AMCs provide.
“If a broker has an opportunity to sell the loan to us or another lender, they choose us because of speed, technology and service, and they’ll look at appraisals the same way,” said Elezaj.