Desk Top Appraisals. REALTORS this will hit home for you!

Real Estate Appraiser with Lanier Appraisal Service CR004373

Desk Top Appraisal Requirements

Attention all Realtors, this is very important. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, FHFA in their infinite wisdom has advised lenders that they can start using more Desk Top Appraisals starting in March of this year. At first you think great, quicker turn times for appraisals, lower cost reports and they do not have to go inside the home. But WAIT. Guess what? Desk Top Reports require interior WALLS and a Floor plan sketch!

How are the Appraisers going to get that information if they are conducting the Appraisal from their desk you ask? YOU the Realtor will be called upon to do this for them. YEP, it is either you or the homeowner. Now envision this, you or the owner has to have an iphone or Android APP on their phone that allows them to walk around the entire outside of their home (older owners will just love this) and then on the inside, be tech savvy enough to hold the phone and walk through the house and measure the home by moving their phone along all walls or ceilings so the Appraiser can somehow put together a sketch/Floor plan. They have to talk to you or the homeowner about any issues they see as they walk thru the house in detail. 

Lenders think Desk Top reports will take Appraisers less time to complete. Guess what it will take LONGER. We have to track down the Realtors or homeowners to set up a time to walk thru the home and do all that is required. Plus you know the homeowner or YOU as the Realtor will want to ask the Appraiser questions as they move thru the home, some they can answer, some they cannot. This process will take much longer as the Appraiser will have to train people every single time they do a report on how to do these measurements. They have to shedule times to do this.  Realtors and Homeowners this is NOT YOUR JOB, but this is the reality IF Lenders choose to request Desk Tops from Appraisers.

The Appraiser can walk thru a home, take laser measurements and at the same time note things about the home WAY faster than anyone else can as they have been trained and have been doing this every single day for years. Also Fannie will require Appraisers to use ANSI measurement guidleines as it relates to how to sketch a home. If you have NO clue what ANSI is then get educated now.

So REALTORS, you have the ultimate power with your lenders to bombard them with emails or TEXTS and tell them do not have Appraisers do Desk Top Appraisals. It is crazy that they want a full floor plan with interior walls, when they never required that for full appraisals.  The only time we had to do that was if there was an unusual floor plan. So I guess they want to make sure that since we are not seeing the inside of the home they want interior walls on the sketch to make sure the home does not have some sort of unusual floor layout.

Trust me when I tell you this will be very cumbersome upon the person trying to do the measurements and showing the Appraiser every aspect of the rooms inside and outside so the Appraiser can determine if there are any issues in the home or with the floor plan. 

Fannie, Freddie and FHFA received NO input from Appraisers who have boots on the ground when they came up with this insane idea. Only YOU can help to squash this requirement in their tracks as they clearly don't want to hear from us!

Also be aware that many Appraisers have already said they will NOT due desk top appraisals! So good luck lenders trying to get this done. 

Check out this poll which was just started minutes ago on a National Appraisal Facebook page asking how many Appraisers will or will not complete Desk Top Appraisal reports. Appraisal Poll on Desk Tops

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Comments (3)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I understand your point, but I have done a professional floor plan and dozens of professional photos for my listings for decades. Everything is uploaded to MLS. I believe this is the bare minimum we should be providing our sellers and prospective buyers in any event.

Jan 19, 2022 01:54 PM
Mary Thompson

Trust me at least here in GA you are the exception not the rule. Most Realtors do not provide a sketch. Too much liability if you quote that square footage based upon your own measurements and you are wrong. (Unless you have an Appraiser provide that sketch for your buyers) A licensed Appraiser who does this for a living every day is the best bet for any potential seller/buyer in this market. 

Feb 14, 2022 11:45 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Mary Thompson very good helpful report about desktop appraisals.

Jan 19, 2022 04:25 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Jun 28, 2022 06:41 AM