COVID19

New appraisal guidelines: Best practices for REALTORS

Lenders still want a full appraisal.  However, if it is not feasible for the appraisal to be done (if someone in the home is sick for example) the lender MAY request an exception for an exterior only report.  Appraisers will now be able to do exterior appraisal reports for Fanny Mae loans (the majority of our mortgages) if they are unable to go into the home.  No exceptions are being made for FHA or VA at this time.

How can Realtors prepare?  If an exterior only is being requested, here is how we can help…

Appraisers MUST feel comfortable and knowledgeable enough about the property condition in order to complete a report for the property.  If they feel they do not have the required information to determine an accurate value, they will not complete an appraisal.

Here is what we can do to prepare our listings for a favorable valuation & ensure the appraiser is armed with enough information to be able to complete a report:

  1. Pick up the phone when the appraiser calls you with questions. This is critical.
  2. Make sure you have a COMPLETE & ACCURATE description of the property in MLS. Be factual, be thorough.  Fluffy descriptions will not help.
  3. Appraisers cannot enter the listing which means you need to have photos of every part of the property. This includes heating system, electrical panel, back side of the property.
  4. Upload a list of features, plat map, assessor field card, septic plan, spec sheet, and anything else that will provide details and condition verification. (similar to the package you would provide in person)

For traditional appraisals, appraisers request Sellers to have the lights turned on in advance.  All doors open in advance (they do not want to touch surfaces).  They will be wearing a mask and gloves.  They will not be shaking hands and will keep a social distance from anyone present.  Please advise your Seller to limit the amount of people in their home as a precaution for the safety of all involved.  Many appraisers are calling the Seller in advance of the appointment to explain these precautions.  Upon arrival, the appraiser will inform the Seller that they are NOT sick.  They may ask if anyone in the home is sick.

Please keep these recommendations in mind while working through the appraisal process.  Together, we will continue to service our clients and close transactions while keeping everyone’s safety the top priority.

Read the details of exterior only inspections here.

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