Best Practices for Smooth Appraisals During COVID-19

Performing interior home appraisals with social distancing and shelter-in-place restrictions in place is a challenge. Some lenders are allowing desktop appraisals, while others are continuing to ask their appraisers to enter homes.

The average age of an appraiser is in the high 50’s, and many are in the target risk age for COVID-19. Many appraisers will only do exterior inspections, which increases the pressure and workload on appraisers who will perform interior inspections. Lenders should plan for some delays upfront, and communicate with their teams as to the dynamics in their particular area.

When there is an internal inspection, here are some tips from appraisers as to how to make the inspection process go more smoothly and safely:

Tell borrowers and agents to maintain social distancing. They need to either exit the property completely and let the appraiser inspect solo, or if they must stay inside, they should isolate in one part of the house.

Offer protection. Have gloves, masks, and booties available for the appraiser’s use, as well as any borrowers or agents that are on the scene. Most appraisers will bring gloves, but it doesn’t hurt to be extra prepared.

Turn on all lights and open all doors, including doors to crawl spaces. This way, the appraiser can clearly see every room and take photos without touching anything.

Turn on appliances that may need to be verified to function. For example, you can run the dishwasher on the “Quick Rinse” cycle so the appraiser doesn’t have to touch it.

If someone in the house is sick, don’t hide that from the appraiser. Call them in advance and inform them whether or not it’s a common illness or COVID-19-related. Work out a plan for the sick person to be moved out of the house temporarily or isolated in one room.

For more resources on maintaining appraiser continuity during this time, please click here.

Triserv will be releasing additional information on how COVID-19 is impacting the appraisal process. We invite you to sign up below to receive those updates. We look forward to being a resource for you in these challenging times.

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