Coronavirus (COVID-19) Appraiser's Discussion and Resource Page

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Appraiser’s Discussion and Resource Page

To help you stay informed and connected, this page includes resources regarding the latest news, industry guidelines, and resources regarding the rapidly changing situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We encourage you to comment below and share your experiences so far operating in the current environment.

Are you still performing appraisal inspections? What precautions (if any) are you taking? Do you have any advice for your fellow appraisers?

>> Take OREP/Working RE’s Coronavirus: State of the Appraisal Industry survey here.


Resources for Appraisers:

COVID-19 Pandemic and Exterior Appraisals – By Virginia Appraisal Coalition

Appraisal Interior Inspections Should be Suspended – By Jeff Bradford

TAF’s Corona Virus Resource Page – The Appraisal Foundation

FHFA Directive on Interior Appraisal Inspections – By Isaac Peck

FHA Appraisal Flexibility Announcement  (Addressing Interior Inspections)

Fannie Mae Lender Letter (LL-2020-04) (Addressing Interior Inspections)

Freddie Mac Bulletin 2020-05 (Expanding Waivers and Addressing Interior Inspections)

Comments (88)

  1. I am a homeowner and facing an interior appraisal for a refinance. I’m so uncomfortable with it. The bank will not allow FaceTime or photos… they insist that the interior appraisal is required. I’m seriously afraid for my family’s health as well as for that of the appraiser. We’ve been given no information about what precautions (if any?) the appraiser has taken with previous homes, so who knows what they have already been exposed to. Any advice on how to get the bank to be more flexible? (It is not a government-owned mortgage.) Hang in there everyone and put safety first!

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    • We walked away from our refinance for the same reason. I offered FaceTime, zoom, etc. they wouldn’t budge so we didn’t go forward.

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  2. by Kathryn Moreno

    When asking the homeowners to take interior photos have them add a time/date to each photo. I interview the borrower by email regarding any updates/improvements and when. I then include their responses in an addendum. A bit more transparency and protection maybe?

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  3. Remember the saying “Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.” For the past 2 years or so we’ve been shouting from the rooftops that we (appraisers) have to inspect the properties we appraiser as we’re faced with bifurcated appraisals. I know a 2055 is not a bifurcated report, however, if we all stop inspecting the interior of the properties we appraiser we’re sending a message to the lenders that an interior inspection is really not necessary and setting ourselves up for a bleak future. It’s surprising that the shoe is now on the other foot. Before Covid 19 the lenders were the ones pushing for faster reports with less inspection and we were fighting them, now that they want full interior inspections, we’re saying no. I think it’s very possible that by the time this pandemic is over we (appraisers) will have started the slide to our own demise by insisting on nothing but drive-by’s and desktop reports. I personally believe that if I can stay safe and protect myself and the homeowner from possibly infecting each other, then I can still perform a full interior/exterior inspection. I realize we all have to run our businesses as we see fit, but again, be careful what yu wish for.

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    • If the industry shifts due to practices during a global pandemic then so be it. The lenders will pay the price by overvaluation or missed issues. I am not so sure in a normal time, lenders will be satisfied with no inspection or an inspection by a 3rd party and possibly a biased person being sufficient when an appraiser must accept someone else’s pictures to determine value. How many times will appraisers put their livelyhood on the line based on someone else’s inspection??? They tried this and pulled back these past two years with the bifergated appraisals. What other essential industries outside of law enforcement and medical are going into residences each day right now? Essential ones???
      This is temporary…. Come on… hands on appraisal by the same person inspecting, analyzing, interpreting, reporting and ultimately accepting liability when determining a value is always going to be the preferred method.

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  4. I am a home owner who feels pressured by the lender to have an interior appraisal done and I am scared for my family’s safety along with the appraisers safety. Is there a way to file a complaint about this? What would be a safer way to get the appraisal done to the satisfaction of the lender without endangering the appraiser and my family? Looking for advice. So sorry about what you guys are being asked to do to keep your jobs during this critical tome. It is completely inappropriate and reckless. Thanks for the advice on advance. Stay safe and healthy!

    Sincerely,
    A Concerned Home Owner

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    • I am totally in this boat, too. It is reckless and endangering both the inspector and our family. I am honestly considering not going through with our refi over it. I would love to know what recourse we have in terms of filing a complaint as well.

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    • Stick to your concerns. The appraisal can be turned into an exterior or drive by if you do not allow people into home during this time. Also, alternative methods of video tour of your home only during this pandemic are out there. Talk with the lender. They should work with you as Fannie Mae’s, Freddie mac and FHA have loosened guidelines.

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  5. I am a 78 year old appraiser in Colorado with 40 years experience in this market. For the last 5 years I have been doing only VA appraisals and have limited my number of assignments to 3 a week. I prefer to do appraisals with interior inspections as I believe there is too much liability doing exterior only inspections. I do have a conversation with the home owner prior to arriving at the property. While I know people can and do lie I still believe I can safely conduct business. I live in a county with almost 750,000 people. As of today there have been 156 cases reported and 7 deaths.

    The VA is having a conference call tomorrow and we may learn a lot more. The circular that came out a couple of days ago says “we can do exterior only inspections for occupied properties; however, we are to go on-site, measure, and photograph front and back”. That’s a long way away from doing a “drive-by”. By the way, per USPAP, there is no such thing as a drive-by appraisal., In addition the tern “complete appraisal” isn’t right either.,
    As for me, I am going to continue to appraise, take precautions, and trust in the Lord,.

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  6. I asked a horrible AMC that I work with if there was any way to talk to the Client and go with a 2055 form appraisal as the assignment met all of the requirements. The representative told me to either buy a lot of hand sanitizer or just get out of the business! It was hard to tell what he was saying because his kids were playing in the background! Would be happy to warn anyone about that particular AMC if you send me an email. Since over 20% of us are older than 67-years we just all need to stop doing these reports. Get unemployment if we need to ride out the few months before the industry pulls their head out and begs us to do 2055 reports. Lets be honest, there are not a lot of young appraisers out there to take away our business by doing interior reports. I have had 10 to 15 requests a day for reports. The AMC’s are getting panicked and are extending due dates out weeks. Now is the time to band together and make a stand! Shame on you if you are out there doing interior inspections! You are putting the rest of us in danger and possibly making the homeowners sick or your own family. Suck it up and do the right thing! This is why we are always getting the raw deal. We are all independent and do not work together. Our industry representatives are useless. Where is the Appraisal Institute?? Where are the other associations in all of this? Too busy staying at home and too afraid to threaten their political connections to take a stand! Now is the time for action people!

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  7. by Steve Forstner

    I have one coming up in which the homeowner is claiming to be immune deficient and under doctor’s orders not to leave the residence. This should get interesting.

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  8. Running out of masks and gloves. Don’t lenders/AMC’s understand you just can’t walk into Target and buy gloves and masks nowadays! Hello!! I’ve got enough left for several trips out for groceries, gas, etc. I suppose I could inspect a few more homes and just starve, having used my last 3 sets of gloves/masks in some random stranger’s home. Getting a lot of push back from AMC’s who still want interiors. As colleagues have said, everyone we’re dealing with at the AMC is working from home, but despite Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac relaxing guidelines and software companies swift accommodations for new addenda, etc., appraisers are expected to go into strangers homes daily! As if the borrower or a seller is going to tell us if they just got off the plane from NY! Here in SoFla we have tons of New Yorkers. For the for-seeable future, Drive-by’s should be the RULE, not the exception.

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    • I am the owner of a small appraisal business in Wisconsin. We have been doing interior inspections with all the precautions possible, but I am now prepared to refuse all but exteriors. Despite the relaxed rules from Fannie, Freddie, FHA, and VA, lenders are still ordering full 1004s for 90% of the orders, and I believe they will continue to do so until we put a stop to it. They are apparently afraid of the risk to their portfolios. Funny, that wasn’t an issue before 2008 when lending 120% of a homes value was common!! The only way to get their attention is for ALL APPRAISERS TO STOP ACCEPTING INTERIOR ORDERS! If we do, they will have no choice but to reconsider. I propose an April Fool STRIKE (Wed, April 1). To sweeten the pot, we can offer to do video inspections with supplemental homeowner photos. That provides a more thorough Scope of Work than the current “Drive-by” or “Desktop” options and reduces the risk. The appraisals would be an “Enhanced Drive-by” or a “Modified 1004”. I say, pass the word.. STRIKE ON WEDNESDAY!!

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      • We still don’t know alot about this virus yet some Appraisers continue to perform interior inspections. The human mind can rationalize anything…I heard appraisers say ” I go to the store, so why can’t I do an interior inspection. ” To each his own. I will take a sabbatical. It helps that I have a full time govt job that is considered essential. Appraisal is part time income. Some appraisers can’t afford to stop working. I wish them well. Be safe out there…

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  9. I did 3 interior inspections l0 days ago. Had the safety discussion with the homeowners prior to getting to the property. The HOs could not keep their distance from me throughout the inspection. I wore gloves but then I got into the car and I realize I brought all the contamination back with me into the car. I can’t get safety equipment in my area as it is no longer in stock. I have a tiny container of hand sanitizer. I told the AMC I’m not doing anymore interiors. Haven’t had an order since. This is incredibly unsafe and totally unfair to this entire profession. Realtors are not allowed to show homes in my state now. Home inspectors are not allowed to do home inspections now. But appraisers can just go on as if nothing has happened.

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    • I agree. Like pawns on a chess board. Out of all the entities involved in the transaction… Appraisers make the least amount of money but take all the risk. I spoke with an AMC staff member and asked if she was working from home? She said “,Yep”

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  10. Here is what I am brain storming during these difficult times:
    1st the appraiser conducts a drive by of the property to make certain the home has not had a fire and rates the exterior of the home.
    2nd the owner forwards the current interior photos of the home to the appraiser.
    3rd the owner face times the appraiser and walks around the home, where as the appraiser can verify the photos with the video face time and ask questions to the owner.
    4th the appraiser completes the appraisal report and can honestly say he has virtually inspected the home.
    This way no one is exposed to others and the social distancing is followed.
    Its really not fair that everyone in the banking industry stays home and safe, but appraisers have to go into the homes and expose themselves and their families.

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    • I vote for this! I haven’t had a request since I post that I will only do exterior or desktop appraisals. If enough appraisers do the same then they will have to go this route but someone out there is willing for enough money to keep doing them. Which is their choice, just don’t get me sick and have fun explaining to your kids how you contracted it and gave it to grandma.

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      • Just imagine the appraiser has the virus and no symptoms. He/she go from house to house infecting people. A powerful Attorney in the area mother dies from the virus and it is traced back to you. I wonder if the client or AMC will cover your legal fees? That $300.00 to $500.00 appraisal fee won’t.

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      • A slow down is occurring. Appraisers are so back logged. Appraisers are in some cases getting sick. If you notify your AMC that you only do vacant, drive bys or exteriors only they put you on an inactive list and no orders will be offered. I have countered all jobs with the new guidelines and get no jobs. Lenders and amc’s are working from there living rooms and expect you to go risk your life for what? Take time off right now, get UI, SBA Loan as we are not essential to help people with there health or safety…. The financial aspect will rebound if we get this virus under control… Going into homes is not responsible right now.

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    • I don’t know why we can’t do this for the refi appraisal we have scheduled. I am going to propose it. It’s just ridiculous.

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  11. Last week March 23-27 I was doing interior inspections with gloves on and the occupants had to leave the property while I was at the house. Now I am refusing to go inside to do a full inspection unless the home is a unoccupied second home. I refuse to go inside occupied homes and I am doing exterior only, walk the property to take a rear photo. I am asking the borrowers to take interior photos so I can see the inside and add those photos to the report. I will write the report on a 1004 form and make disclaimer statement. If the bank or AMC doesn’t like it fine cancel the job….. I am trying to communicate this to the banks or AMC as best I can. But guess what? No one is in to talk to and emails go unanswered. Why? Because they are all staying home…..

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  12. One thing about the new VA guidelines is it leaves open the possibility of having to do a 1004D up to 1 year in the future as part of the original fee. Having to schedule and go back to a house you appraised 3 months for free is not going to be fun. I plan to either do interior if possible or maybe have the agent or homeowner take interior photos for me.

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  13. by Gregory Brzakala

    It appears many lenders/AMC’s may be moving toward desktop or drive-by reports. As appraisers, we must keep in mind, the only difference between a full interior inspection 1004 URAR and a desktop or drive-by 2055 is the time in the house and the drive-time to the house. All other aspects of research and value development remains the same. This may be typically 30 minutes to one hour depending on locations. In my opinion, asking for a discount in fee more than $25-$50 per report is a slap in the face to the appraiser who is still exposed to considerable liability when an interior inspection is not completed. I have frequently turned these assignments down when lenders/AMC’s low ball fees for these products. If appraisers with limited clients or work weren’t so happy to take these assignments (with fees dictated by the lender) for below market rates, I think the quality of the product by quality appraisers would improve. I’m already receiving surveys from lenders about appropriate fees for these products. I urge all appraisers to not give away their fee structure for a very limited reduction in time per report.

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    • I agree with Gregory. A desktop or drive-by saves on the drive, or inspection time, respectively. In an urban area, maybe you save an hour per report. I have always quoted $50 less for a 2055 exterior and have never done desktops because of lender’s crazy low fee offerings.

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        • Call me crazy but if we could get the home owner to get the interior pictures and maybe a conference call it might actually take longer. So I agree not to give a dime up if everyone else does the same. We need to stick together on this and come up with an acceptable alternative while the crisis progresses.

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    • At most it saves 30 minutes on site. But I’m going to spend some of that in a much longer phone interview than normal. So maybe I’m actually saving 15-20 minutes.

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    • Guaranteed Rate has issued a letter stating that they would not be discounting the 2055 or the desk top reports. They will pay them as if it were a 1004 interior appraisal. That being said, isn’t Guaranteed Rate large enough to make this a “customary & reasonable” argument? I for one will NOT discount my reports a single penny!

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  14. I am an appraiser in Kansas City, Missouri and I agree with most of you on here. We should absolutely be doing nothing but drive by appraisals at this point. An interior inspection is not that serious. I have voiced my opinion with several of the AMC’s I work with and they don’t see to care. I find it highly hypocritical that banks and AMC’s are working from home in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading but yet they require us appraiser’s to walk into several random families home daily. It’s ridiculous. The law of averages says that you will eventually enter someone’s home that has COVID-19. I notified most of my clients that either one of three things are about to happen which are 1. I decline the assignment, 2. I complete a drive by on the property or 3. My appraisal fees will skyrocket. I have honestly at this point basically eliminated raising my appraisal fee because like I said earlier, it’s just not that serious.

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    • Totally agree. We have the most liability for the lowest pay in the mortgage process. Now we cant get FNMA and Freddy Mac to make an exception to keep us safe until this passes. More risk for us and this one perhaps life threatening. Again we have no lobbying advocates just like during the Dodd/Frank implementation. Its time for the Appraisal Foundation to step up. I am in the ‘hot spot’ of South Florida and just today made the decision to stop interior inspections. Two borrowers failed to tell me, until i arrived at the residence, that the just arrived from NY and were supposed to be under quarantine. It would only be a matter of time before i would be exposed. It got real for me very quickly. CS

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      • Wow. I know borrowers will lie about their health to get the refinance done. Most people I see in the community have no conviction about social distance.

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  15. It is sad that we can not all come together an refuse to do interior inspections during this health crisis, the lenders would have no choice but to allow them. Unfortunealy there are appraisers among us that see this as a way to get more work. I know all the safety protocols but I don’t think you can ever be 100% safe. Potentially contracting or spreading the virus is not worth a $400 fee. I am surprised that lenders are not more concerned over the liability of infecting borrowers by requiring interior inspections. For now I am only doing drive-by inspections with emailed or MLS photos used for the interior pictures. We should all stick together on this, there is even support in USPAP for suspending interior inspections during a national health emergency. All of you that are still doing interior inspections need realize the magnitude of this crisis. You may get our work now but you may not be around when this is over.

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  16. I live in northern CO and have many inspections set up with many of the same precautions as listed above. However, I’m really beginning to question the sanity of interior inspections. Driving around inspecting people’s houses, regardless of the precautions, is increasing risk unnecessarily. A sick borrower can say they don’t have one all they want because they want a loan and don’t think it’s a big deal. How are we supposed to know? I honestly don’t see why exterior-only’s with the borrower providing the rear image is an unreasonable ask at this point?

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  17. by Christina Collins

    Hello, I am an RN, former loan officer, and Realtor, I emphasize with each and every comment. I am currently collaborating with a seasoned appraiser in Florida and assessing a way to safely do interior inspections. Through this assessment period I have considered the risk to the individual appraiser, occupant of the property, and the possibility of cross contamination. Covid-19 is by far highly contagious, by both droplet and airborne transmissions. The droplets can be detected 72 hours later on hard surfaces, just think…. you go to a property, take your pictures, leave and wash your hands, ect. But, the shoes you wore where not covered, the occupant had just finished coughing and then opened the door, and you walked right through that unseen cough cloud that was sitting in the living room, and now you take whatever droplets stuck to your shoes on to the next property. Nobody wants to be the vector, I highly suggest to ask screening questions when you set the appointments and then call again 24 hrs prior, wear a mask, gloves, and put the shoe covers on at the thresholds, gave the doors open and lights on, and when you leave take the shoe covers off prior to getting in your car, place them in sealed bag or container, take your gloves off, sealed container, mask off, paper bag, maybe you can reuse, then wash hands. It’s a lot but with habit it can be done, again don’t be the Vector. I personal feel they should relax the guidelines for now. Go to drive-bys. The cleanest house does not wipe floors down daily. If any client gets sick after you have been there and the appraisal is the only anomaly it is not difficult to trace back.

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      • This is what I am doing also. Ask HO to turn on the lights so you do not have to touch switches and follow social distance guidelines. I use hand sanitizer right before I enter the home and wipe my equipment before and after. I wear shoe covers and also keep a can of Lysol in my car. It’s a systematic process. I hang my coat outside before coming in the office or spray with Lysol. Yes, I know I still have the same clothes on in between but change right when I enter my home. Not sure How else to handle that.

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  18. I am following most of the protocols noted in previous comments, but I am still working and VERY busy. My suggestion is for the lending institutions and the economy at large. I think these actions would go a LONG way in providing immediate relief to everyone. For EVERYONE with a car payment or mortgage payment, the Federal Government should immediately mandate that lenders place a 3 month freeze on those payments, and tack the payments on the back ends of the loans. This way, the assets on their balance sheets stay the same. This would prevent a tsunami of future foreclosures and repossessions, not to mention another tsunami of bankruptcies because folks won’t have to run up their credit cards. In terms of the liquidity of the institutions, let the lenders sort that out with the government. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

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  19. by Richard Hurtig

    Like everyone here I have been put in the impossible position of having to choose between the health and safety of myself and my family and maintaining my livelihood. It is absolutely insane that we are being asked to perform interior inspections in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. I can’t afford not to work so I am taking every precaution I can, pre inspection screening of homeowners, mask, gloves, sanitizer, (sorry for sharing this) but I don’t even enter my house with the clothes I was wearing in the field, changing in the garage, washing them immediately and showering as soon as I get back from field. Even with all this I have no idea if I have been exposed since symptoms don’t appear immediately and there’s people who are asymptomatic. Any one of us can be exposed in one property and then spread the virus to every other home we go to appraise which could literally kill someone, not to mention ourselves or someone in our family. The level of callousness and irresponsibility coming from the GSE’s and AMC’s is almost criminal. Why on earth is it so difficult to do the right thing in corporate America?

    We can easily provide drive by appraisals which could be enhanced by date stamped photos of all rooms provided by the homeowner. Someone please explain to me how it is that two months ago Fannie Mae was all excited about shoving “Bifurcated Appraisals” down our throats….you know…the ones where the dog measures the house and sends us the sketch and photos for us to write a report, pay us nothing and dumping on our heads all the legal liability but now in the middle of a pandemic we can’t do a 2055??? And no, Fannie/Freddie, appraisal waivers risking again the housing market and putting us out of business is NOT the right answer.

    I’ve been doing this for twenty six years and just when I didn’t think we could sink any lower here we are, literally putting our lives at risk to do our jobs. Be safe everyone, hope you will all be Ok.

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    • I completely agree with you! The banks are closed to customers, and you can use the drive up teller or bank machines. I think virtual tours with those people capable of facetime is the way to go. They can then send the photos via email or text. I can reverify the exterior front and the comparables from the car.

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  20. It would help to see where we are all working State, county etc. to get a handle on whats going on in each state where we are conducting our business.

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  21. The majority of our clients are EXTREMELY worried about their appraisers – I do believe we have an awesome client base. The majority of our client are completely backing us up when following the generally recommended protocol and have had one client notify customers that if the appraiser shows up and anyone presents with sick symptoms they will be charged a trip fee. Everyone keep safe and follow protocols – hope that we will go to exterior inspections with video/photo support from homeowners.

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    • That is about what I have told my own clients. If someone is sick I won’t go it. If they have c-19 I won’t go in until I can get the vaccine.

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  22. I sent this to an AMC today. Just tired of hearing how they are concerned about the appraisers yet they refuse to order drive-by’s.
    Your company is putting peoples lives in jeopardy just to make money! The appraisers are not essential personnel. Closing a loan is a choice not a necessity. There is an order for a 2 week quarantine. You have no regard for anyone’s lives but your own as you sit behind a computer and your desk at the comfort of your home! I think it’s disgusting and appalling. I’m sure you would think differently if you were the one out in strangers homes wondering if your being exposed. Telling appraisers to take precautions is bullshit. There are no masks, hand sanitizers, Lysol wipes, or booties to be found! I hope you can live with your greedy self when you kill an appraiser knowing they could be exposing others in the process.

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  23. WHy is it that the AMC’s that pay the least, Now want you to risk your life, and have a quick turn time, and are the Last to pay. Its time for everyone to Say goodbye to the Low fees, and being pushed around by an over bearing AMC,

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  24. Michigan appraiser. Currently, inspecting with a mask and gloves. Home owner turning on all lights and opening doors. I hope lenders will not move to a 1004 with an exterior appraiser inspection and a interior Skype home owner inspection by cell phone. The liability to the appraiser is ridiculous. I hope a 2055 drive-by with home owner photos will be implemented if need be. I have also raised my fee due yo hazard pay.

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    • I’m in Michigan and inspecting the same way except that I make them leave all the lights on and doors open and make the occupants leave the house before I enter. I’m also on a slower schedule with several days between houses. I think none of us wants to be known as that “guy who infected 3 families in their homes before he found out he was sick.”

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  25. It is “beyond the scope of this appraisal “
    To determine any potential negative future values of the property being appraised.

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  26. I am in Oregon and have been instructed by most of my clients to follow general protocols, These include:
    1 asking homeowners if they are sick, or the household is sick, and if they have been diagnosed with CV19, or have traveled out of the country in the last 14 days.
    2, wearing a set of latex of nitrile gloves and NOT TOUCHING ANYTHING at the property, this includes exterior and interior items, doorknobs, faucets etc, have the home owner or renter operate such items if they are there,
    3 use hand sanitizer before and after insp,,,(ya like you’re going to find in anywhere now)
    4 notifying the homeowner if YOU or members of your household are sick etc..
    5, wear mask and eye protection if comfortable, keep 6′ away from people during insp, no handshaking, etc…(social distancing)
    6 NOT TOUCH YOUR face, eyes etc during or after the insp until you toss gloves and sanitize.
    6.5 If you or the occupant(s) are sick (immediately notify your client) and reschedule, re-confirm health day of inspection it at all possible
    7 take as little time as possible doing the interior part of the home or property insp to minimize personal risk (yet still acquire due diligence and get enough data to get the job done) I may eventually resort to using my gopro to take video walk throughs and narrate my inspection for larger homes. This will reduce my “in home time” considerably, Then you just review video later at office. (good excuse to buy one and write it off too ;-) LOL)
    Additional things, for vacant homes, use pencil, pen or edge of tablet or clipboard to flick on and off lights, use only 2 fingers or 1 on doorknobs or handles,
    AND of course do drive-bys and desktop appraisals as much as possible. Be save, keep a positive attitude and be professional.

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    • Very similar to what I am doing. Also. I carry a small spray bottle of hi-proof alcohol that can be used to disinfect clipboard, gloves, counter tops, etc.

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  27. by Bruce McCarver

    Just had a bad experience yesterday. I have sending a text to all home owners asking for their cooperation. I tell them I will call them and let them know I am at the property and that I will do an exterior inspection with photos and measuring the house. When I am done with the exterior inspection I will call them and ask them to open the front door and to please step outside to the backyard. I tell them I will be wearing medical gloves and a cover over mouth and nose. I will try to avoid touching anything. I ask them in the email if this is acceptable and if not to please let me know and give them my number. Yesterday I completed the exterior inspection as agreed upon, but when I called to ask them to step outside while I completed to the interior inspection they refused and said we want to observe. I was noticeably upset by this and said this is not what we agreed to and started to leave but decided to finish the inspection. If this happens again I will not finish the inspection and let the lender know why. It would be helpful if lenders let people know these are not typical circumstances and to please find way to cooperate with us. Lenders help us.

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    • by Steve Forstner

      Part of the problem is that many people still aren’t taking this seriously. I’m still hearing people say it’s not as bad as the government says it is. Last week I heard (several times) that flu killed 58,000 people last year so covid can’t be that bad. These folks won’t understand what is going on until the death toll reaches 100k or so or until someone they know gets sick. Then there will be another run on the stores.

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    • I agree. People are outright LYING about not being sick and try to play off that they are not sick. Everyone is being told to stay in their homes. Schools are closed, businesses are closed and all these people may or may not be sick, carrying the virus, no one knows. And they are saying it stays in the air for 3 HOURS. This is not worth it. Change to drive-by’s or desktops if you want to keep the lending business going. Stay home

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  28. I totally agree with your assessment. The problem is getting the lenders on board. I proposed this to a large national vendor and they denied. Therefore, I have suspended all appraisal services with that vendor until April 1st.

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  29. Still work. Have all inspection with folk having all doors open, all lights on and kenneling all pets. If they are sick, the inspection does not take place. I’m gloved up at each house. I change my cloths in the garage when returning home. I have placed this comment in all my reports.

    PRESENT MARKET CONDITIONS:
    The global outbreak of the “novel coronavirus” known as Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The reader is cautioned, and reminded that the conclusions present in this appraisal report apply only as of the effective date(s) included. This appraiser makes no representations as to the effect on subject property for any unforeseen events, subsequent tot he effective date of the assignment. As of the effective date the short and long-term impact on the market from the COVID-19 virus is unknown. However, it is reasonable to assume that current restrictions in market activity, due to the virus, will extend marketing times beyond the current levels. This assumption has been taken into consideration with regards to the estimate of reasonable exposure time. As of the effective date of the assignment, this appraiser assumes that there is a delay in market activity as the market’s transitions to an updated process of working, buying and selling of homes from restriction on gathering sizes and showing of homes. This may, or may not be a significant long-term shift in demand or supply, which could result in a change in market value. At present the US Federal Government is developing an 18 month contingency for this virus and over this time period the market data will reveal itself. These are considered to be extraordinary assumptions which, if proven false, could impact the opinions and conclusions expressed herein. Again, we are at the beginning stages for any market data to reveal itself for analysis.

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  30. Emails from various clients are coming in daily. Their guidance and expectations run the spectrum from a program by one lender in which appraiser completes an exterior only inspection and receives photos from the homeowner and can interview them by phone regarding the interior. No need to step inside the house. To on the other end of the spectrum, a tone deaf AMC that basically stated that if you are not comfortable conducting inspections then let them know so you can be removed from the roster. I personally am taking each order case by case. Luckily my area is full of seasonal/second homes so many homes are unoccupied during my visit anyway. I also politely ask if it is possible that the occupant would vacate the home while I inspect. This is common practice already for Realtors showing a house for sale, so I have no guilt here in asking. IF the occupant/borrower resists this – then I am turning these orders back over to the client to deal with. So far, I have only had one order I returned and 2 days later it came back to me with the borrower now agreeing to vacate while I am there. Of course, I will arrive with masks, gloves and sanitizer. I cannot risk exposure, I have family members with compromised immunity.

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  31. I haven’t seen a single lender or amc who are concerned about the appraiser
    Only about the borrower
    They send a list of what you should do to keep the borrower happy
    All interior inspections should be suspended

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  32. by Katherine L Lewis

    I have asked the homeowner to open all doors and turn on all lights. I have yet to complete an FHA inspection. The only thing I touch is when I knock on the front door. I do not ring doorbells.

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  33. At my company, we have an open and honest discussion with the occupant by phone prior to making any arrangements for inspection. If/when we agree to conduct the inspection the appraisers are gloved, masked, and wear covers over their shoes for the interior portion of the inspection. Social distancing would including keeping a meter (or yard for us in South) distance during any conversations we do not shake hands.

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    • Are you providing a different mask, gloves, booties each inspection. If not, it’s no good. If so then please give them to a doctor…

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  34. Can you start an email that appraisers on this list can sign to send to Lenders/govt ect such as a petition to suspend 1004int. to exteriors for 30 days. Maybe that would help.

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    • Governing authorities need to issue a waiver to allow exterior inspections to replace interior inspection until the crisis is past.

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  35. by Maryellen Brindel

    I read the Citibank guidelines posted in the Virginia Appraisal Coalition and these are the guidelines I will be following and sending to AMC’s I work with, one which sends me much work from Citi. I’m pleased that Citi is taking such aggressive action for safety of all involved- realtor, owner and appraiser. If it’s for a refinance the owners can send required photos to appraiser.

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    • by Maryellen Brindel

      Since I wrote about Citibank’s good policy that I saw on this website on 3/18, a friend of mine was doing 2 interior inspections for Citibank through PCV Murcor on 3/20. Apparently the new “safe”, smart policy was not being put into effect. I too told an AMC I was only doing drive-bys or desk tops and was put on the not available list. A few hundred dollars is not worth risking our health or that of others we encounter.

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  36. I am still doing inspections if the owner and I are comfortable. I have had two appointments that postponed their appointment dates to a later date. I have always worn gloves, but have taken more precautions – spraying the gloves with disinfectant, trying not to touch anything in the house, asking the owners to open all doors and leave lights on. Also asking them if they have traveled in the US and other countries, have been in contact with anyone that has a cold or is suspected of having the virus.

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  37. Appraisers should not have to enter peoples homes during this outbreak. It is absolutely irresponsible that lenders are requiring us to do so. Please help and get GSEs and Lenders to act. Lenders need to change their guidelines to allow exterior only inspections. The average age of a real estate appraiser is 60. We should not be entering homes. Appraisers are endangering themselves and the homeowner. At this time when everyone is being asked to self-isolate to reduce how quickly this virus spreads, appraisers in the course of doing their jobs may inadvertently accelerate the spread.

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    • I agree it’s too risky and we have families too if the are staying home we are the one gonna bring this virus to them

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  38. I have always emailed the access person prior to the inspection with instructions to secure pets and make sure all rooms/areas are accessible. I have now added a whole paragraph about social distancing. I wear a mask and vinyl gloves and ask that only one person be in the house while I’m there. I am also charging more for the job due to additional supplies, coordination efforts, and overall risk. With that said: I do think the lenders/secondary market should suspend the requirement for an interior inspection until this crisis is over. The risk of an incorrect appraisal is lower than the risk of cross-infecting people. With all the tech we have, we should be doing virtual tours. I am getting to the point where I will stop taking interior orders even though that will be a massive hit to my income. I feel as though it is the socially responsible thing to do.

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  39. For the short term have no interior inspections and all reports be exterior drive by reports. If needs for upgraded homes are required they can be addressed after the emergency. FEMA is now Level 1.

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    • Governing authorities should allow a waiver until further notice for exterior inspections to replace all interior inspections at this time.

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  40. by James C Yannaccone

    I don’t see how appraisers should be expected to continue entering homes during a pandemic crisis. This is just another perfect example of the lack of respect for the appraisal profession and lack of any backing or support in our industry. I bet if I called some of the mortgage lenders who are now working from home and asked them to come along for an interior appraisal inspection, they would suddenly realize the risk they are putting us under. I feel exterior only inspections will work just fine for now.

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  41. by Eli Stinger III

    What is everyone doing in relation to interior 1004. I’m wearing gloves and maintain a 6ft distance no touching anything inside and owners open close all doors. I don’t know if I’m overreacting but interiors seem unnecessary right now

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