VaCAP is a volunteer organization of appraiser professionals. We are not medical professionals and are just as confused as most of you. Each and every one of us is different. We have different levels of health and different people living in our homes; some may have compromised immune systems, some maybe healthy. Some appraisers are now only completing exterior appraisals only. In these cases, it is best to use your best judgement based on what is right for you and your family. No one else is capable of making that decision.
Many are fearful exterior only appraisals will be the end of the traditional appraisal as we know it. Right or wrong, exterior only appraisals are a possibility that may be acceptable in certain situations. VaCAP does not believe it will end traditional appraisals with interior inspections. The profession has been down this road before. It will not fly long term, especially if the market turns downward.
Some lenders are establishing Covid-19 protocols to follow and some have remained quiet on the subject. There are rumors that one lender has instructed appraisers not to inquire as the health of the occupants of the home due to privacy laws. Others like Citibank have developed their own protocol on how appraisers should handle Covid-19 concerns. There is great flexibility to the appraiser. See Citibank’s protocol here.
Meanwhile, MBREA sent out the following advice this morning and we thought it was good common sense worthy of sharing.
- Talk with your clients about Covid-19 to see if they have any protocols they would like you to follow
- Let your clients know you will have a conversation with the borrower/owner when scheduling the appointment to identify any risk of infection. This conversation should also provide the borrower/owner with the opportunity to ask you screening questions or to assure them you are not ill.
- The appointment scheduling call is a good time to let the borrower/owner know if you will be wearing gloves, not shaking hands, etc.
- Screening should be limited to questions about the coronavirus and flu such as:
- Is anyone in your household currently sick with a fever and/or a cough?
- Has anyone in your household been exposed to a person who has or is suspected of having the coronavirus?
- If the appointment is set for a few days later, you may wish to ask again when you arrive at the property.
- Communication is key – between you, your client, and the people you will come into contact with — to avoid misunderstandings.