Coronavirus and Appraisers: Three things every appraiser needs to know

Written by on April 27, 2020


Under GSE temporary COVID-19 guidelines, you can avoid doing interior inspections and use homeowner-provided information

On March 23, GSEs put out temporary guidance on appraisal requirements and completion reports, including allowing exterior-only and desktop appraisals. It also allowed flexibility in obtaining information about the property — letting appraisers rely on homeowner-provided information.

The modifications, along with the changes to the statement of work and certifications, brought a lot of questions. The biggest one being, “Is it USPAP compliant?” The short answer is “Yes” based on Fannie Mae and others. While we realize that these modifications may not be for everyone, we do want to keep you informed while you remain safe and working at this time.

You can conditionally decline orders and
accept them under the new guidelines

You can keep working and not risk yours or your family’s health if you’re concerned about contracting COVID-19. Take the time to educate the lenders and AMCs that you work with on the appraisal flexibilities and the measures you’re taking to gather the information you need to satisfy their lending requirements.

There are a lot of resources available from Fannie Mae that will help you complete a report under the temporary appraisal flexibilities — including:

We’ve provided pre-filled addenda in TOTAL and Titan Reports to accommodate these temporary revisions as well. The addenda can easily be added to your report.


Use PropertyAssist®, a new, free tool in TOTAL, to transfer information and photos into your Workfile from the homeowner to complete assignments

 PropertyAssist  is the fastest, safest way to transfer the information you need from the homeowner into your TOTAL WorkFile.   PropertyAssist is free to all of our customers during the pandemic and ready to use now.

As you appraise from a distance, PropertyAssist helps streamline your workflow by: 

  • Guiding homeowners through the photo-taking process, so that you don’t have to spend time on the phone, directing each shot. 
  • Only allowing homeowners to submit photos that are current and for the property being appraised – otherwise, the tool won’t let them submit. 
  • Automatically flowing photos and data into your WorkFile, so you can easily drag them into your report. Photos are conveniently stored, in case future questions arise. 

Unlike other third-party tools, PropertyAssist grants you immediate access to everything you need, right inside TOTAL. You can easily drag and drop report-optimized photos, with labels, into the appropriate slots. There’s no copy-and-paste and no need to log in to multiple products.   

For more information, give us a call at 866-877-3963. Or, you can see PropertyAssist in action by checking out our latest Facebook Live demo.