Big News: FHFA to Make Desktop Appraisals Permanent

During the pandemic, people started working from home out of necessity. Even though it’s relatively safe to go back, many companies have elected to make the change permanent, as some virtual offices have proven to be equally or even more efficient.

It turns out, the mortgage industry also discovered that after being forced to do things differently, they actually found a better way to do business that benefits everyone involved.

Back in March 2020, the Federal Finance Agency (FHFA) allowed some short-term appraisal flexibilities so the mortgage industry wouldn’t come to a screeching halt amid stay-at-home orders and social distancing mandates. One such measure was permitting “desktop appraisals.” Instead of having someone survey the property in person, they could instead appraise the home remotely using tax records and information provided on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

This change was hugely convenient for appraisers, who spend much of their time driving from house to house. Eliminating that driving time meant they could perform more appraisals in a day, which meant that borrowers could get their appraisals done faster, streamlining the process for everyone. This was especially helpful to borrowers in more rural areas who would experience even longer delays.

Desktop appraisals and other relaxed protocols expired earlier this year, but on Monday, October 18th, the acting director of the FHFA, Sandra Thompson, announced at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention that desktop appraisals will be reintroduced and made permanent in early 2022. The 3,500 attendees erupted in cheers after hearing the news, as many have been lobbying for this for months. This change in the mortgage industry certainly is big news that’s a win-win for borrowers, lenders, and appraisers alike.

Are you looking to get a mortgage or refinance your existing one? Then email us or give us a call at (323) 412-9060.


Leave a Comment