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Home Appraisals During COVID-19

The health and safety of our clients, employees, and communities is our top priority. We are dedicated to protecting everyone’s wellbeing while sustaining efficient operations and moving your loan forward. Even though social distancing and shelter-in-place orders are in effect in many areas, the mortgage process can still continue – and appraisals are a crucial part of that process.

PRECAUTIONS IN PLACE FOR HOME APPRAISALS

Most mortgage transactions still require a full appraisal in order to move forward to approval and closing. This includes an interior inspection completed by a member of licensed appraiser panel. We encourage these to be done whenever possible, under safety measures set by the appraiser and the homeowner.

Some of the precautions we’ve taken to help make sure your appraisal takes place in a safe manner include:

  • Encouraging appraisers to follow all recommended safety and sanitation measures for any on-site inspections, as deemed appropriate by the appraiser and the homeowner
  • Working to promote proactive, transparent communications between homeowners, agents, appraisers, and our team to stay in front of any issues that may arise during the appraisal process
  • Communicating best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with FHM employees and business partners

WHAT ABOUT AN EXTERIOR ONLY INSPECTION REPORT?

There are rumors about appraisals only being done with an Exterior Only Inspection Residential Appraisal Report. These rumors are false. Appraisers, closing agents, home inspectors, and other essential personnel can still enter sellers’ homes under social distancing and shelter-in-place orders. The ability to conduct an Exterior Only Inspection Report is based on specific loan program guidelines and requirements. If you have a loan in process with FHM, talk to your loan officer about any questions regarding appraisal requirements on your loan, we are happy to assist.

HOW DO SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDERS IMPACT THE APPRAISAL PROCESS?

The mortgage process can still continue in areas where shelter-in-place orders have gone into effect – including appraisals. In many of these areas, real estate is deemed “essential” meaning that appraisers, your agent, and other individual who need to enter your home can still do so under the order. There are some cases where our team has alternative ways to complete the appraisal process that don’t involve entering the home. These special situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by our team, who will reach out to you to let you know if you qualify. That said, it’s important to remember that most appraisals do still need to be conducted with an in-home inspection.

We encourage you to speak with your agent and appraiser ahead of your appointment to set safety measures that both you and the appraiser are comfortable with during the time they are in your home.

Our team is eager to keep your loan moving through the mortgage process as quickly, easily, and safely as possible. Please reach out to your FHM loan officer at any time with questions about your loan appraisal or the mortgage process in general. We are here to help!