How Has Covid-19 Impacted Real Estate Appraisals?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Bend Premier Real Estate 200009031

Central Oregon Appraisers are Very Busy

Bend Premier Real Estate is fortunate to have Erik Chapin, one of our Premier Brokers who is also a  licensed appraiser, as an expert on the appraisal business in Central Oregon. According to Erik, Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on appraisals locally.

Erik typically operates with a lead time of 4 weeks to complete an appraisal. At this time in 2019 he averaged twelve appraisals a month. Last week over a three day period he received ten appraisals on top of the fifteen he already had. He is working six to seven days a week and is having a hard time keeping up. There are a number of reasons for this.

Why Are Central Oregon Appraisals Backlogged?

1) Low interest rates have encouraged a large number of refinanced loans.

2) Not all appraisers are working due to Covid-19 as some have opted out. Remember the average age of an appraiser is 60+ yrs old and that puts them in a higher risk category. 

2) Kids are back at home and now doing online school. With children at home, the home work environment is disrupted and this takes time out of an appraiser's day to complete their work, therefore the process is slower than normal.  

3) In some cases lenders are allowing appraisers to do exterior inspections, but due to the specific/approved loan program of the borrower it takes time to get the appraisal switched to an exterior.  

4) Inspections- In the first 2 weeks of the pandemic, Erik was allowing owners to stay in the home and remain in one room while he completed the inspection. Approximately 50%  of owners would stay put while the other 50% would follow him around. Erik is now requiring sellers/homeowners to vacate the home while he is inside completing the inspection. He asks they turn on all lights, open every door in the house (he doesn't touch anything) and leave for the 30-45 minutes it takes for him to complete his inspection. If the owners aren't comfortable with leaving the home and the bank will not permit an exterior inspection, Erik lets the bank know that he won't be doing the appraisal (he did this 4 times in the past 2 weeks). At this point the lender is now looking for an appraiser to go into a home where an owner isn't cooperating. The easiest way to explain this would be to treat the appraisal like a showing. The owners need to leave the house thereby providing a safer space for the appraiser and the owner. This ultimately allows the appraisal process to move forward. 

Appraisal Business Practices Have to Adapt to a Changing Environment

Almost every business has had to adapt and change as we move through this pandemic, and appraisal work is no different. Understand that buyers and sellers need patience and cooperation in order to complete all aspects of a real estate transaction.  We will get through this with flexibility.

Original blog can be read at Bend Premier Real Estate's blog


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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I shake my head some times over the people who still don't get it!  If we distance from each other  and accommodate reasonably - like leaving the house in a condition that the appraiser doesn't need to touch anything - we can all keep working and not get sick! 

Apr 06, 2020 03:25 PM #1
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Lynnea Miller

Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon
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