Residential bidding: FAQ for lenders and AMCs

What is residential bidding?

Residential bidding provides a quick and easy way to provide faster service by way of appraiser assignments. This feature allows you to request bids from multiple vendors, gauge availability and qualifications, then assign orders.

Why are you enabling residential bidding?

Based on market demand, we know you look to us to provide solutions that improve your operations. One complaint we’ve received recently is that placing an order to a single appraiser and waiting for that appraiser to respond adds a lot of time to the assignment process — especially in markets that are busy and appraiser availability isn’t a guarantee. Many of you have asked for a way to let multiple appraisers know there is an assignment, then let each appraiser communicate their availability. This gives you the ability to run appraiser assignment as a parallel process rather than reaching out to one, getting a response, and then reaching out to another. We expect residential bidding to speed up your assignment times dramatically.

How will this benefit me?

Residential bidding creates efficiencies and allows for orders to be assigned more quickly; reducing assignment lag time and providing more lead time in the loan process.

Is this a broadcasting (a.k.a. mass-blast) system?

While it does let you send an order to up to 100 appraisers, our residential bidding system is designed to be smarter than that.  This system helps you reduce assignment times and make sure you’re choosing the right appraiser for residential orders — particularly for complex, rural, or similarly difficult-to-assign orders. You can use the same extensive set of criteria and weighting factors you already employ to select a group of appraisers who are highly qualified to service the order. When you send out a bid request using our residential bidding system, you can be sure it’s going to vendors whose location, professional qualifications and performance are right for the job.

Is this a system that lets me find the first or lowest bidder?

You can use it that way if you need to.  However, there are options that make it even more flexible - for instance, you can send out bid requests with the due date and/or fee unlocked so you can make the right choice based on multiple vendors’ projections.  In cases where finding the right appraiser can be difficult, these extra options can be very helpful.

How long does the appraiser have to place a bid on these orders?

You can set a global bid expiration time during which the bidding appraisers must respond in order to be eligible, plus you can set an expiration time for each individual bid request. This timeframe will be clearly listed on the initial bid notification the vendor receives.  Keep in mind, the bid window stays open during our “dark hours” - 11pm - 8am.  For example, if a bid expires at 11:13pm, the appraiser could enter their bid at 7:55am and it would still be considered eligible.

Are all residential appraisers accepting bid requests?

Appraisers always have the option to decline an order, and in this case, a bid opportunity.  However, when an appraiser bids on and is awarded an order, they will automatically accept it, so the status should change to In progress immediately.

Are the transaction fees increasing for bid assignments?

No. Transaction fees will remain the same for residential bid orders as they are for non-bid residential orders.

Can I start sending out bid requests right away?

We started testing the system early in August with a few Mercury users (our beta testers.) We anticipate launching residential bidding as a feature to all customers in late August.