The New Normal

By | March 28, 2020

Ok appraisers let us be blunt about the Covid -19 Virus. It is serious and no one should be ignoring all the warnings. We could learn a thing or two from other countries that have experienced the outbreak prior to us. Fannie, Freddie, HUD and VA have all altered their appraisal requirements as a result of the rapid spread of the virus. Fannie and Freddie are giving preference to desktop appraisals over exterior appraisals, which quite frankly, is completely backwards from what most appraisers believe to be a more reliable appraisal. HUD and the Veterans Administration, on the other hand prefer exterior appraisals and will accept a desktop appraisal under limited circumstances. These temporary changes all give the appraiser good alternatives to interior inspections. Make sure the certifications and scope of work are modified to protect yourself. Each entity has provided additional language to use within your report. Make sure the verbiage on the certification and scope of work match what you actually did.  Lenders have been slow to adopt these temporary changes and it is causing some stress and confusion to many. The bottom line is that each appraiser needs to decide for themselves the level of comfort with each of these products.  Remember it is your license, not the amc or lender. Make your own decisions that are right for you and your family.

See Fannie Mae temporary guidelines here.

See Freddie Mac temporary guidelines here.

See HUD/ FHA/ USDA temporary guidelines here.

See Veteran Administration temporary guidelines here.

There is hope and encouragement.

We have all heard the saying every cloud has a silver lining. The Covid -19 Virus is no exception. As a result of the current state of affairs, appraisers are beginning to see more unity. There are numerous discussions within the appraisal groups on social media platforms on how appraisers are handling situations, but perhaps the strongest unity is coming as a surprise to most.

The American Society of Appraisers,  American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, The Appraisal Institute, the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers and the National Association of Realtors have joined together informing government entities that real estate appraisal is an essential service.  This is in direct response to some states ordering stay at home or shelter in place orders barring appraisers from working. See the combined efforts below.

Additionally, The American Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraiser, the International Association of Assessing Officers and the Appraisal Institute are hosting a free webinar on the Covid -19 Latest Developments and Efforts for Appraiser on March 31stTo learn more and to register, click here.

VaCAP encourages each and every one of you to support your local, state, national and international appraiser organizations. A united front by all appraisers is a strong step forward!


Letter from Real Estate Organizations Regarding Essential Services