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5 Easy Steps to Reduce Appraisal Revision Requests

Let’s face it, appraisal revision requests can be a real drag. You spend hours meticulously crafting a report, only to have it back in your inbox with a list of edits. It eats into your time, slows down your workflow, and can be downright frustrating. 

But the good news is, there are steps you can take to significantly reduce the number of revision requests you receive. By implementing these best practices, you’ll not only save yourself time and frustration, but you’ll also establish yourself as a top-performing appraiser that lenders and AMCs can rely on. 

5 Steps to Reduce Revision Requests

Here are five easy steps you can take to minimize the need for edits and become a revision-busting appraisal machine: 

1. Scrutinize Your Comps: Quality over Quantity 

Choosing the right comparable properties is critical to a well-supported appraisal. Don’t just settle for the first few that pop up in your search. Here’s how to ensure your comps are truly comparable: 

  • Location, location, location: Take the time to not only inspect the property but also research the surrounding area. Review online listings, property photos, and comparable sales to ensure your ratings and adjustments are consistent with available data. Focus on comps in the same neighborhood or a highly similar area. Proximity to amenities, schools, and major roads all play a role in value. 
  • Similar size and features: The comps should be comparable in terms of square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and overall condition. Don’t try to force a three-bedroom ranch home to compare to a five-bedroom colonial. 
  • Recent sales data: Ideally, your comps should have sold within the past six months. Outdated data can skew your analysis of the current market value. 
2. Focus on the “How” 

Appraisal reports often explain the “what” of adjustments made, but sometimes lack the crucial “how.” For example, if you’ve applied a positive or negative adjustment, ensure your report clearly explains the reasoning behind it.  

Back up your adjustments with data from your comps. Show how the differences in features or condition between the subject property and the comps translate into a value adjustment. 

Including detailed explanations demonstrates your thought process and builds trust with the reviewer.

3. Clear and Concise Communication 

Resist the urge to include lengthy commentary. This can make it difficult for reviewers to find the specific information they’re looking for. Instead, prioritize clarity and conciseness. 

Review the engagement letter thoroughly to ensure all required information is included. Also, tailor your commentary to each appraisal.  Focus on the specific information required by the letter of engagement and USPAP guidelines.  

Briefly explain your comparable selection process and organize your commentary by adjustment rather than by comparable. This streamlines the review process and reduces the risk of revision requests for clarification. 

4. Double-Check Before You Submit 

A final review before submission can go a long way in preventing revisions. Here’s a checklist: 

  • Ensure all sketches, floor plans, maps, and photos are uploaded. 
  • Run a spell check for grammatical errors. 
  • Verify that all page prompts are addressed. 


Taking these extra steps may seem minor, but they can significantly reduce the chances of errors and revisions down the line.
 

5. Embrace Technology 

The good news is, there’s a wealth of technology available to make your life easier and your appraisals more accurate. Consider using: 

  • Automated Valuation Models (AVMs): While not a substitute for a full appraisal, AVMs can provide valuable data points for your analysis. 
  • Comps databases: These can save you countless hours searching for comparable properties. Just remember to verify the data with public records. 
  • Collaboration platforms: Tools like ValueLink Connect allow for seamless communication and document sharing with lenders and clients, streamlining the entire appraisal process. 

Parting Thoughts

By following these five simple steps, you can significantly reduce the number of revision requests you receive. This will not only save you time but also enhance your reputation for delivering high-quality, accurate appraisals. Remember, clear communication, meticulous research, and a commitment to accuracy are the hallmarks of a successful appraiser. 

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