Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

Q: What is an appraisal management company and what does an appraisal management company do?
A: An appraisal management company (AMC) is an organization that acts as an unbiased mediator between interested parties (as in a lender or borrower) and an appraiser during an appraisal transaction. This means that Arivs handles all communication between lenders and appraisers in order to ensure compliance and standardize the appraisal process.

Q: What is an appraisal?
A: An appraisal is a report completed by a trained and state-licensed appraiser that assesses the market value of a real estate property in accordance with the requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Appraisals are used as the foundation for mortgage loans. The opinion of market value in an appraisal can also act as guidance for other real estate decisions.

Q: Can I order just one appraisal?
A: Yes, Arivs is available to assist private clients who only need to order one appraisal. See Order an Appraisal on our Services page to get started.

Q: How much does an appraisal cost?
A: Please note that fees vary based on property complexity and regionalized market trends. Arivs strongly believes in compensating appraisers fairly in order to secure the most timely and accurate appraisals possible. Feel free to contact Arivs staff directly for more information on fee schedules as well as typical fees for rush options and other products.

Q: Who is responsible for the cost of the appraisal?
A: The Arivs client is always responsible for payment of the appraisal. However, it should be understood that in many cases our client will require payment or reimbursement by the borrower for the appraisal.

Q: How long does it take to complete an appraisal?
A: At Arivs the typical turn time for a standard appraisal is 5 business days. However, we offer multiple rush options that will guarantee delivery of the appraisal in anywhere from 2-4 business days. The turn time of an appraisal includes inspection of the subject property, the research and preparation of the report, and a unique Arivs administrative review. Please note that turn times may vary due to property complexity and regionalized market trends. Contact us directly for more information.

Q: Is it the job of the lender to select the appraiser?
A: The lender authorizes the appraisal, but loan officers or other lender personnel do not select the appraiser. Appraiser selection, both automated and manual, is always performed in compliance with Appraiser Independence Requirements (see below). This means that all appraisal orders are arms length transactions where the lender is unaware of the appraiser’s identity until the final copy of the appraisal report is delivered. In turn, the appraiser is only provided the client name and address to facilitate appraisal form completion and is never provided the loan officer, processor or any other originating personnel contact information.

Q: What happens if the appraisal is believed to have errors or omissions that may affect the market value given in the report?
A: Arivs always expects the highest quality of appraisals. If there are believed to be any errors or omissions that are material to the appraisal, our client should contact Arivs immediately to review options for correction or clarification.

Q: What are Appraiser Independence Requirements (AIR)?
A: Appraiser Independence Requirements were developed by Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Freddie Mac, and others to ensure that appraisers are not inappropriately influenced or pressured in regard to value. FHA AIR went into effect in October 2010 and modified rules regarding payment of appraiser fees and other communication standards. Please see the below links for more answers regarding agency independence requirements:

Please note that Arivs always guarantees appraisals that are compliant with FHA AIR and all other agency requirements.

Q: Is the Arivs website secure?
A: Yes. The Arivs Proprietary Software (APS) database is secured by standard salt and pepper hashed password protection. The server is located in Missouri with hourly backup and redundancy within Arizona. Also, the APS server that collects borrower credit card information protects consumers’ nonpublic personal information. Credit card numbers, expiration dates, or CVV codes are not stored in any way but are entered manually. There are always codes in place to prevent these values from being added to log files. In transit, the data is encrypted (SSL) both from the client to the server, and from the server to the credit card processor.