What Homeowners Can Do To Assist The Appraiser During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Is This The New Normal?

Our planet has been turned upside down. With the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is now being called, the everyday lives of most people have been disrupted.

Ways That Homeowners Can Assist The Appraiser During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Many businesses have had to cut back on the service they offer or close down altogether until the pandemic can be stopped. The effect on the real estate sector of the economy is yet to be determined.

For the time being, lenders are still able to offer loans to home buyers and those wanting to refinance their mortgage due to the good interest rates. This has created an abundance of work for appraisers, however, with the problems associated with the Coronavirus the standard appraisal inspection procedure has to be modified for the protection of both the homeowner and the appraiser.

Steps To Help The Appraiser

Today I would like to share with homeowners steps that they can take to assist the appraiser in the appraisal inspection to help minimize the risk of spreading the virus. If the appraisal inspection has to be called off or postponed there may be other options the bank can take to get a reliable appraisal.

The following steps have been adopted by many appraisers across the country. They have been put into place to keep everyone safe.

  1. Let the appraiser know if you have traveled recently – The first step is to let the appraiser know if anyone in the home has been out of the country in the affected areas. It is quite possible that a family member could have the virus or passed it on to another family member. A person with the virus may be asymptomatic and not show any symptoms but still be contagious so it would not be wise to risk passing it along to the appraiser.
  2. Inform the appraiser if anyone in the house is sick – If anyone has a fever, cough, or other symptoms of the virus let the appraiser know immediately so they can inform the lender and alternate plans can be made.
    If no one is sick but they have been around someone that is known to have the virus this information is very important also. They may have contracted the virus but not be showing symptoms. This virus spreads very fast and if you know or suspect a family member has it please share that information.
    If it turns out that everyone in the home is well that’s awesome! We can proceed with the appraisal but we’ll need to modify our typical appraisal inspection procedure.
  3. Forgo the handshake – Most appraisers are very welcoming and shake hands upon arrival, however, with the recommendation for social distancing, it’s just not wise at this time.
  4. Expect the appraiser to protect themselves – Most appraisers I know are wearing rubber gloves and some are even wearing face masks. The virus can be passed along by touching surfaces that infected people have touched.
    Rubber gloves can help the appraiser stay protected by avoiding touching surfaces with their bare hands. Some appraisers may wear a face mask to avoid airborne germs, however, most of the better quality masks are sold out.
    I have chosen to not wear a mask because I do not have the one that is effective, however, I am doing my best to stay six feet apart from the homeowner.
  5. Turn on all lights and open all doors – In an effort to avoid touching any surface within the house the homeowner can make sure all the lights are on and doors are open. This will prevent the likelihood of germs being passed along.
    For FHA appraisals the list will be a little longer because the appraiser has to check more items. You can help the appraiser by assisting them with the following:
    -Provide access to the attic for inspection.
    -Verify that windows open and close.
    -Verify that the HVAC system works by turning it on and off.
    -Verify that appliances work.
    -Verify that the water heater works.
    -Verify that toilets flush.
    -Provide access to the crawl space if one is present.
  6. Provide helpful information by email – If you have any information that you would like the appraiser to consider such as a list of updates or renovations please email this information. By emailing this information we can avoind exchanging sheets of paper that may have the virus on them.

With the large volume of work appraisers are experiencing at this time they are looking at a lot of houses. These steps can also help prevent the spread of germs from one house to another. In addition to the above steps I also wipe down all of my tools with disinfecting wipes and wash with hand sanitizer.

Conclusion

By assisting the appraiser with the above steps you can help the appraiser do their job in the most effective manner possible. If you have any questions about new procedures appraisers are using in the Coronavirus age please leave a comment below and as always thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. Sherman Little says

    Good Advice Tom, Since you stated this could be shared, I posted your article in our board’s monthly newsletter with full credit to you Thanks for being such a great educator for agents and providing excellent information. You are an asset to the industry. I will send you a copy when it is published.

  2. Tony alvarez says

    Great advice and information Tom! with your permission I want to share this.

    We are in very crazy times and we need to take all the precautions we can.

  3. Nice job Tom. I have pulled back from mostly all physical inspections altogether. It’s been an interesting week for sure. Ha.

    • So are you doing exterior driveby appraisals? I believe we will probably be getting a directive soon that suggests exterior only. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  4. Good tips and advice. Thank you!

  5. Good advice, thanks Tom.

    Three of my last four appointments tried to shake hands. Time to change this ritual. Hard to believe Howie Mandel was right all these years….

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