In recent weeks, COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s lives in a number of ways and it is no surprise that it’s impacted the mortgage process as well. Among other things, we have seen an immediate impact on the appraisal process causing great delays in closing loans.
Some Appraisers are not taking orders for new appraisals at all. In areas where you can get an appraiser to complete the appraisal, owners aren’t allowing internal inspections because they do not want anyone inside their home in fear of exposure to COVID-19. These are just a few of the examples of appraisal issues causing delays across the country. In some cases, orders for appraisals are taking anywhere from four to five weeks for completion.
It is common practice to use a pool of appraisers to choose from to ensure that you are receiving a competitive price and a high level of service. However, even with this best practices in place, lenders are generally facing the same obstacles. Here are some steps to help manage this challenge:
- Order the appraisal as soon as possible when processing the file. Collect the money from the member and place the order as soon as the quote is received. This will help move the order along quickly.
2. Set proper expectation with the member. If you know that there is a long delay for the appraisal, let the borrower know so they can understand up front. Communication is key to ensuring that proper expectations are set and no surprises pop-up along the way.
3. Remember that everything is very fluid right now. The COVID-19 situation is changing daily and everyone is trying to adapt in the stressful environment as best they can. Patience and a calm attitude will go a long way in this changing time.
As we continue to maneuver through the COVID-19 pandemic, know that changes will happen, obstacles will need to be overcome and homebuying will continue.