Appraising Virtually: FHFA Announces New Plan

The pandemic has transitioned many operations to a digital field – and it looks like appraisals have become one of them.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Monday, October 18th, that qualifying Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages will accept appraisals virtually. To do so, the appraisers will use public records (like listings and tax appraisals) to process home-desktop appraisals for purchase loans.

Sandra Thompson, acting director of the FHFA, explained, “What was one of the temporary flexibilities will now become an established option for originating enterprise loans. Both enterprises will incorporate desktop appraisals into their [selling] guides for many new purchase models starting in 2022.”

While desktop appraisals greatly help speed up the process in a pandemic world, it’s also essential for rural communities. In smaller towns, appraisers can spend a majority of their day driving from property to property, which again, slows down the transaction process.

Thompson continued, “This can help each appraiser complete more loans in a day, and it can also help rural communities more readily obtain a necessary appraisal when the borrower is purchasing a property.”

This now permanent solution will be in effect in the early months of 2022.

For more real estate news, stop by Kittitas Title’s Blog.

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