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Forcing Appraisers To Be Something They Aren’t, May Cost The Consumer

The new appraisal forms mandated by Fannie Mae effective November 1 will likely cause an increase in appraisal fees [MCall] [1] because they will take longer to fill out and place much more liability on the appraiser for expertise he or she generally doesn’t have.

When Fannie Mae redesigned the forms, the appraiser’s role took on the that of a home inspector which is a different discipline that appraisers are not trained for.

The problem is the new forms are written in such a way that they hold the appraiser responsible for the condition of the property, says Barbara Decker-Spence, an appraiser in Allentown, who has led seminars on the changes for area real estate agents, lenders and appraisers.

”I am an appraiser. I am not a home inspectorand there’s a big difference,” she explains. ”Appraisers value the economic interests [while] home inspectors look at: Does the electrical system work? Does the plumbing work? Does the mechanical system work and are there structural issues?”

If report preparation takes longer and additional liabilities are being placed on the appraiser’s shoulders, it would then follow that the cost of doing business is higher. Appraisers in many markets could be expected to pass along the cost to their clients.