Due to COVID-19, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Accepting Alternative Appraisals Until May 17th, 2020
On March 23rd the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, released a rule directing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to allow alternative appraisals as a result of the coronavirus outbreak through May 17th, 2020. (FHFA News Release)
"To allow for homes to be bought, sold, and refinanced as our nation deals with the challenges of the coronavirus, the Enterprises will leverage appraisal alternatives to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interior of a home for eligible mortgages" the news release reads.
The FHFA failed to define what "alternative appraisals" specifically are, leaving most in the industry to assume the concept is clear enough and that an appraisal without an interior inspection is the safest measures for both the home owners and the appraisers. Alternative appraisals could be either drive-by appraisals, desktop appraisals, hybrid appraisals or a curbside appraisal. At Fast Appraisals our team of Cleveland home appraisers has been efficiently delivering alternative appraisal products for years. They typically have a much faster turn-around time and cost less so are usually the preferred valuation approach for tax appeal appraisals and appraisals needed for probate, estate valuation or divorce.
Alternative Appraisal Products Safer for Coronavirus Concerns and Include Appraiser's Expertise - AVMs Do Not
An alternative appraisal report, like a desktop appraisal, drive-by appraisal or curbside appraisal is prepared with the same comparable sales data and adjustments to derive at the market value as a complete appraisal - however in a drive-by appraisal the exterior photos are taken from the street and in a desktop appraisal the photos are pulled from online resources available to appraisers - in both cases, no physical contact is made with the customer. In a curbside appraisal, the appraisers at Cleveland Home Appraisals coordinate with the customer to use FaceTime on the company tablets to get a clear picture of the interior and exterior of the home. Our appraisers offer virtual appraising with the FaceTime app for customers that have iPhones, iPads, Zoom or another videotelephony service they can use to connect with our appraisers. The contact person walks around house, directed by the appraiser while the appraiser takes screenshots. Our appraisers include screen shots from the FaceTime appraisal in the alternative appraisal report that can help justify relevant adjustments made. The customer can also include photos or other elements that can be verified if they feel more information is needed to assist the appraiser in calculating the most accurate market value.
AVMs Not Considered Evidence-Based Alternative Appraisal Products
AVMs, an automated valuation model, does not include the expertise and knowledge of an appraiser and although they can be used by lenders to get a quick idea of market data, they do not incorporate on site property inspections, exterior property inspections or a licensed/certified appraisers expertise of the nuances in each town and city in our Greater Cleveland Akron area. AVMs are likely not included as an "alternative appraisal" product because of their lack of accuracy and the availability of more accurate, evidence-based, market valuations by a licensed/certified appraiser with the more accurate alternative appraisal products like desktop appraisals, drive-by appraisals and curbside / virtual appraisals.
Cleveland Home Appraisals Offers Reliable Appraisal Alternatives
Since the coronavirus concerns have shaken-up the industry, mortgage lenders and stakeholders are encouraged to move forward, with prudence, to use reliable " appraisal alternatives." Although many Cleveland and Akron area appraisers may not be equipped to offer these appraisal alternative products, the appraisers at Cleveland Home Appraisals are experienced and proficient at fast turn-times and reliable valuations whether you choose a desktop appraisal, drive-by appraisal, hybrid appraisal, curbside appraisal or any modification of a virtual appraisal without physical contact. Call our appraisal team at 216-932-4663 or fill out our appraisal order form to request a quote and turn around time.