As strange as the current situation may feel with a pandemic going on, there are processes that still need to happen to secure a home. You’ll still need an appraisal to secure the mortgage loan. The new home serves as collateral for the mortgage, and lenders use this requirement to protect themselves from loaning more on a home than a home is worth.
Due to self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing, appraisals have been handled differently in some inspections. With the current situation, some appraisers are still performing in-person inspections and are requesting homeowners vacate the home and they are wearing protective gear such as masks and gloves.
Alternative Options for Appraisals
When on-site appraisals aren’t an option, the industry has developed two alternatives. These alternatives are desktop appraisals or hybrid appraisals.
A desktop appraisal is when the appraiser never leaves his or her desk. A licensed appraiser does market research, pulls comps and determines how much the property is worth — without visiting it. They’ll also use tax and MLS records to guide their decision as well.
A hybrid appraisal combines a desktop appraisal with additional resources to evaluate a home’s value. Additional resources can include:
- Photographs of the exterior and interior of the house
- Driving by the outside of the house
- Getting a tour of the interior via video-chat with the homeowner
Which one should you get?
Every appraisal report, whether desktop, hybrid or other is required to provide sufficient research methodology and reporting to support the value conclusion.
With these uncertain times in the world right now, you should be able to rest assured that you can still get an accurate home appraisal.