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Finding Alternatives to Manage Appraisals During COVID-19

During the Shelter in Place order in Monterey County, any house that is not completely vacant, including no furniture, can not be accessed for inspection or viewing. With that challenge, appraisers are trying to come up with alternative ways to value a home.

Appraisers need to determine the characteristics of a property so they use a combination of methods to do so. Usually, they will pull comparables online preferably close to the subject property. A standard appraisal would then involve a visit to the property to determine condition, location and amenities and measurements. But now, with approval from the lender, appraisers are using a combination of some of the following methods to determine values:

  • Use of marketing videos - virtual tours through the house

  • Exterior property visit - can't enter home but can determine maintenance, general condition and surroundings

  • Online valuation systems - they are helpful but if you have unique features, automated valuation system do not have the ability to adjust for a view, location and unique features

  • Facetime tour with home owner - appraiser can ask questions and have the owner point out features

  • Photos of specific areas of the home provided by the homeowner. Appraisers may ask for certain photographic proof to help solidify the value

In addition, three federal financial regulatory agencies, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, announced a relief effort that will delay real estate appraisals and evaluations for up 120 days after a transaction closes. It's a temporary measure and there are some stipulations to the appraisal delay program, which will be in place until the end of 2020.

Source: Inman - Banking & Lending 4/15/2020

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