Save time on MLS and calculation work with the Appraiser Genie

Written by on September 29, 2015

This is a guest post by Andy Arledge, creator of the Appraiser Genie. Andy has over 30 years of experience in real estate, working as a salesman, a real estate broker, and an appraiser. In the late '80s and early '90s, he owned and developed custom software for the largest property management company in West Texas. He's a former member of the board of directors for the Association of Texas Appraisers, holds the ATA-R designation, and maintains an active Texas Certified Residential license. You can find his Appraiser Genie in the TOTAL Store here.

With Fannie Mae increasing requirements every year (like the new Collateral Underwriter rules and reviews), and my own workload increasing in response, I realized that I needed something that could do more to improve my productivity and boost income.

I started working on an automatic version of a spreadsheet that could take exported comps from my MLS, scrub the comps to make them UAD compliant, sort them, complete the 1004MC, and perform regression analysis, all in just a couple of minutes. In doing that, I realized I could do a lot more though, including:

  • Verify the address with USPS and geocode
  • Integrate with CoreLogic Realist, to verify properties against public record data
  • Automatically place selected comps directly into my report with a checkbox
  • Automatically analyze data to determine trends, high/low/predominant for Sales Price, Concessions, GLA, room counts, etc.

In short, tasks that used to take days now just took minutes to finish.

Thus, the Appraiser Genie was born. Read on for details, and check it out in the TOTAL Store (starting at only $5 per report!).

After reviewing my CE books from the past 10 years and researching alternatives, I built in the best formulas for the extraction, allocation, and matched pairs adjustments plus regression analysis. These calculations are performed automatically on the comp search results. Craftsman’s service provides the replacement cost data used for this process at no additional cost to the user.

Another issue was that Fannie Mae was checking my reports against my own history plus data from other appraisers to see what was used for each comp in the past for condition, quality, GLA, etc. This led to the Genie Peer Database, which keeps an average value of what appraisers are reporting about a particular comp. For example, say my estimation for quality and condition are Q3/C4. In a glance, I can see that the Database shows a prior average among my peers of Q3/C3. I can now either adjust my rating accordingly or explain my variation.

After consulting with a prominent appraiser attorney and a USPAP instructor, I confirmed that because the Genie Peer Database keeps only an average of my peers' input, and no specific details of the appraiser inputting that value or proprietary information about the comp, nothing confidential is inappropriately disclosed. Once a user selects comps from the Genie and pushes those into their report, the new values are added to the Genie Peer Database for future use, ensuring it's always current.

The Genie cut the time I spent on reports by over 1/3. The process is quick and simple, I was making more money and I didn’t have to pay for a typist anymore. My adjustments were consistent and fully backed up with information from the Genie, with supporting documentation automatically stored in the report's Digital Workfile. I can even include supporting charts and graphs in my reports if desired.

All the calculations and placement in the report takes less than 15 minutes. I can perform my own MLS neighborhood search, export the results, select comps, and, with the integration through the TOTAL Store, they're automatically entered into the TOTAL report. They're also verified against public record data with prior sales history pulled for each (including the subject).

With the inclusion of the Genie Peer Database, the Genie now has more features than all of our competition combined! In fact, our users were giving us such high ratings that we decided to go nationwide, offering new users a free 10-use trial. Once you’ve used up your free demo uses, each subsequent report is only $5, or you can subscribe for unlimited uses for just $100 a month (per appraiser). Here are just a few of the things the Genie can automatically do for your report:

  • Complete a neighborhood analysis and fill in neighborhood fields on page one
  • Complete the sales and listings values at the top of page two of the URAR
  • Reconciliation with three methods for sales comparison and also the three approaches to value
  • Determine Land value by extraction, allocation or regression
  • Fill out the Cost approach
  • Place up to 15 comps into the report
  • Verify comps and subject against public record data
  • Complete 1004MC, including trends and comments
  • Fill out sales history for each comp and the subject, with comments and checkboxes
  • Display average values from the Genie Peer Database to help you identify where you stand versus other peer appraisers using the same comparable
  • …and more.

If you purchased other products to meet all of the features offered by the Genie, you’d spend over $500 a month and still wouldn’t have all the capability the Genie can offer you. It's easy to use and works with all MLS systems that can export search results. If your time is worth more than $5 an hour, you can’t go wrong. Click here for your free trial of the Appraiser Genie.