5 Remote Inspection Tools for Desktop Appraisals

Realtor or homeowner using a remote inspection tool to capture interior photos for property appraisal

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to desktop appraisals. As of mid-March 2022, banks and mortgage lenders can now use desktop appraisals in place of traditional appraisals for qualifying Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed mortgages. Thanks to advances in remote appraisal technology, desktops are more convenient and reliable than ever before. Want to stay ahead of the curve with desktop appraisals and the latest technology? Below are five remote inspection tools worth looking into.

The following information is based on descriptions available online, provided by the product owners/developers. McKissock does not to endorse one product over another. Rather, our intention is to provide appraisers with a sampling of currently-available remote property inspection tools so they can consider the potential benefits of integrating such tools into their appraisal process.

1. RemoteVal

RemoteVal’s technology makes it possible to visually inspect the subject property using high-definition, augmented-reality video, preserving your control over capturing images, data, and measurements—all via an on-site cellular device or drone. RemoteVal’s remote appraisal inspection technology saves time, reduces travel, and allows you to perform real-time reliable data collection and make property condition determinations, all without ever leaving your desk! More info is available online.

2. HomeView

Another virtual inspection tool is HomeView by ValueLink, launched in July 2020. The HomeView Inspection Tool allows homeowners to complete inspections in a matter of minutes. They can upload photos in real-time, which are automatically geo-coded to ensure the accuracy of the location, helping to eliminate fraud. Once they submit all the required information, a report is automatically generated and shared with the appraiser. The appraiser can then prompt the homeowner for more information and/or revised photographs, if needed. More info is available online.

Updated CE course! Enroll in Best Practices for Bifurcated and Hybrid Appraisals—now updated with Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s guidelines on how to complete the 1004 Desktop/70D appraisal form.

3. Anow Walkthrough

Next on the list of of remote inspection tools is Anow Walkthrough. With this tool, homeowners or realtors follow a step-by-step guide to gather all necessary property information in under 30 minutes, Anow’s platform reviews for accuracy and fraud prevention, then you receive report-ready content to complete an appraisal from the comfort of your home. Walkthrough is branded to you, the appraiser, so you can promote your business while offering this convenient service to your clients. If you already have an Anow account, Walkthrough is included for free. More info is available online.

4. OwnerInsight

Another homeowner appraisal inspection tool to consider is OwnerInsight. Currently, this is a FREE tool offered to lenders, appraisers, and AMCs. Features include a short web-based order form that eliminates the need for scheduling, standardized organization of data and images, and compliance with COVID-19 government orders—all while satisfying agency and government guidelines. Additionally, OwnerInsight helps to mitigate fraud by using geolocated and time-stamped images and requiring the homeowner to certify and agree that they have disclosed all materials facts and the information is true and correct prior to submission. More info is available online.

5. eTrac Virtual Inspection Tool

The eTrac Virtual Inspection Tool is a mobile-optimized tool that allows homeowners to provide photos and specs quickly, providing an immediate solution for conducting remote inspections. Lenders, AMCs, and appraisers can automatically request and receive both answers to questions about the subject property and high-quality photos of the interior and exterior of the property directly from the home occupant through a convenient, automated process. Plus, if the homeowner’s photos are inadequate, retakes can be instantly uploaded for no additional charge. Etrac offers several companion products as well. More info is available online.

Related content: Watch our recorded webinar, “Navigating Desktop Appraisals with Class Valuation’s INvision Technology”—exclusively available to McKissock Unlimited Learning Members.

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