Improving Home Valuation Quality Reviews

Mortgage Solutions, part of Computershare Loan Services, will be the sole provider of valuation reviews for Ventana Home Mortgage, the residential mortgage conduit subsidiary of Window Rock Capital Partners, LLC, an opportunistic, strategic credit investment manager. The Mortgage Solutions team will also provide valuation reviews on rental property assets managed by Window Rock Capital.

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Ventana Home Mortgage will utilize Computershare’s Appraisal Risk Analysis (ARA) to perform appraisal quality control reviews on new loan originations. A cost-effective alternative to traditional field reviews, the ARA report provides an independent conclusion of value and is performed by a state licensed appraiser in accordance with USPAP appraisal review guidelines. The ARA includes area sales data, local home price indices and MLS data. It can be completed in as little as one business day and reports can be customized to specific investor products.

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“In today’s dynamic housing market, trusted, high-quality valuations are critical to the success of our loan programs,” said Joseph Kohout, senior vice president of Ventana Home Mortgage. “After evaluating all the different providers on the market, Computershare stood apart with its team’s depth of valuation experience and its innovative solutions. It’s clear their products were built with a focus on quality and the customer experience, and that gave us immediate confidence that Computershare was the right partner for our needs.”

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For its rental property assets, Window Rock Capital will use Computershare’s Investment Property Analysis (IPA), a desktop review/reconciliation of income-producing property that includes a Form 1007 Single Family Rent Schedule. Each IPA is performed by a certified valuation expert and includes commentary analysis of as-is value and monthly rental rate. The IPA also includes an analysis of both manually sourced and automated rental data, property comparables, and data on local rental market trends.

Backed by a robust team of valuation experts with decades of experience, Computershare’s Mortgage Solutions team offers investors and residential lenders a various suite of valuation products and services nationwide. Both IPA and ARA products are available to lenders and investors as standalone solutions.

Mortgage Solutions President Jim Smith stated, “We’re delighted that Window Rock Capital and Ventana Home Mortgage have placed their trust in our valuation solutions, which have become increasingly popular among investors and correspondent and wholesale lenders. Both the ARA and IPA were developed specifically to deliver the speed, quality and reliability our clients need to demonstrate proper due diligence. We look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

It Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated!

The recent mortgage and housing crisis was in large measure a result of functional breakdowns of the two most important components of our housing finance system: qualification and valuation. For this reason, reforms have focused on these two components and have resulted in significant regulatory changes. Regulation of the appraisal process has been completely overhauled. Appraisal management software can be a major help or hindrance to lenders facing this new regulatory environment.

Among the key areas of focus within already enacted regulations, and within proposed changes still to be finalized, is creation of a comprehensive data record for each appraisal transaction. Every aspect of the transaction, from ordering, to appraiser selection, to appraisal performance, to communication among parties involved is subject to audit and review.

The question for each lender then becomes: Is your appraisal management process up to meeting the higher standards and providing protection from these new risks?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a method of software distribution in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a private network or the Internet. Today many applications used by businesses and other organizations, except custom applications that provide unique competitive advantages, are being delivered as web-hosted services via a browser. Within the mortgage industry, SaaS is a very hot topic. SaaS has emerged as a replacement to older systems throughout the mortgage production-chain from Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to Loan Origination Systems (LOS), to appraisal management, to document preparation, to compliance and beyond. Why?

SaaS Advantage 1—Save Money and Shorten Implementation

SaaS applications are offered on a pay-as-you-go, subscription basis. This enables you to avoid the expenses associated with implementing traditional software. There is no need to buy hardware, software, facilities to house them, or to hire people to manage it all. Industry consultants estimate that the cost of implementing traditional enterprise software is four to five times the initial licensing cost.

Many implementation tasks associated with older systems are eliminated because the SaaS is already up and running at the vendor’s data center. This results in a shortened deployment time and a quicker achievement of positive ROI.

Key Takeaway: SaaS Appraisal management software provides cost savings and quicker productivity gains than the older systems or manual processes.

SaaS Advantage 2-Superior Data Management

The architecture of SaaS systems enables levels of customization, feature enhancement, patch deployment and external data interfacing that is vastly superior to older systems or locally installed software. Such capabilities greatly enhance the flexibility, and responsiveness of the system, while also offering superior data integrity, reporting abilities (providing operational visibility), record management and an overall risk reduction.

Key Takeaway: SaaS appraisal management software can easily be customized for a lender’s specific operational needs. Moreover, comprehensive reporting capabilities allow use of pre-set or completely custom designs in real-time without the need for re-programming, thereby dramatically improving responsiveness.

SaaS Advantage 3-Focus Technology Efforts on Competitive Advantages

The business processes within the mortgage industry must produce products that are largely identical to one another, regardless of which industry participants are involved. Consequently, it makes sense to utilize highly specialized, reliable and secure SaaS systems to ensure uniformity and compliance within origination (CRM, LOS, appraisal management, document preparation and compliance), closing, loan sales, securitization and servicing processes. Through the cost-effective use of SaaS software, a mortgage lender can reallocate from its technology budget to focus on those activities that provide unique competitive advantages.

Key Takeaway: SaaS appraisal management software can improve efficiency, effectiveness and compliance, while helping to return management attention to other activities that may yield better competitive advantage.

The adoption of SaaS appraisal management software is increasing at a rapid pace.  Lenders of all types are making the change to ensure that their appraisal processes are managed both to eliminate risk and to provide positive operational benefits. These benefits include cost savings, ease of implementation, productivity gains, appraisal operations visibility, customization and reduced oversight.

Is your appraisal management process up to the task?

About The Author


Clint Cornett is the founder and CEO of ValuTrac Software, Inc. a leading software solutions provider to the appraisal management and mortgage lending industry. ValuTrac Software is a fully customizable appraisal management solution on the market today for residential and commercial appraisal management. To contact Clint, please email