Appraisals are Just a Mouse-Click Away

Written by Posted On Sunday, 08 April 2007 17:00

The appraisal can be a part of the real estate process that is both time consuming and anxiety building -- as you wait to find out what your home is worth, according to certified experts. While the emotional experience of the latter can't be completely removed, the first part can be aided significantly.

"We dispatch an appraiser from our appraiser network to drive by the home, pull relevant comps based on that local market and actually create an appraisal form for you and then it will be uploaded into our system. We will email you and also send one to you in the mail," says Damian Scott, President of Eppraisal.com

It's a newly-launched website that aims to go beyond those sites that only tell you what your home might be worth. Eppraisal.com focuses on streamlining the process of getting appraisals for your home as well as connecting you to real estate professionals or certified appraisers for full appraisals -- all by just visiting a website and clicking your mouse.

Scott says that the drive-by appraisal is most often used when you are trying to refinance, take a second mortgage on your home, or remove Private Mortgage Insurance.

Scott has spent several years in real estate technology building applications for real estate investors which triggered the idea for his site, but he was beaten to the finish line.

"While we were building ours, Zillow launched theirs. So they stole our thunder initially, but in the long run we have a strong game plan. The focus is not about trying to remove real estate professionals. The goal is to try to incorporate [real estate professionals] into the process, but just make it a more seamless process and actually integrate it online," explains Scott.

However, he acknowledges that ultimately the growing World Wide Web will not be the only resource needed in the real estate transaction.

"There's only so far you can go online, at the end of the day you still need to go offline and get everything completed," says Scott.

That's why, in the next several weeks, his site is expected to rollout the ability to get a full appraisal through the site's network of appraisers. Scott says many people spend a lot of time trying to search for certified appraisers through Google, other search engines and perhaps lastly the phonebook.

"Not too many people around my age actually use the yellow pages any more. I have those big books and they sit in my garage; I stack things on top of them. I usually go to the net to find stuff," says Scott.

He believes a more efficient and effective approach is what some might call, one-stop online shopping. A full appraisal, where the appraiser actually schedules an appointment to view the inside of your home, is more likely what you'll need if you are planning to sell your home or buy one. Scott says his site will soon be able to offer visitors the opportunity to purchase the full appraisal and then be connected with a certified appraiser in the network for a scheduled meeting.

Right now the site offers a variety of resources, hoping to attract consumers in the real estate market.

"You'll see student-teacher ratios, class sizes, population density, and so you have a lot of demographic information on a local area regarding schools. And if you go on the main page, we have local residential areas and if you click any one of those, we also have census information like crime statistics, income information -- just a lot of data that's readily available for consumers," says Scott.

It's another effort to link consumers with the best resources and professionals in the industry because the real estate process is most effective when there's collaboration.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website: www.LiveFitMagazine.com.

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or phoebe@livefitmagazine.com. Visit PhoebeChongchua.com for more information.

www.phoebechongchua.com/

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