Fannie Mae Eyes “Quality Monitoring” of Appraisers

CMG Comment: We are all for quality control and adding professionalism to the appraisal industry, and just hope that this new initiative will be fairly executed. Our only fear is that FNMA will use computer models to “scrub” data from submitted appraisal reports and will identify appraisals which include items that the computer models sees as “errors” without actually READING the reports and analyzing the specific items in them. Appraisal reports are often complicated products, and require specific discussion and explanation in order to be complete and accurate – and must be fully read to be understood. That is a problem with the current trend towards computerized valuation, specific data fields in reports (ie. the new UAD formats from FNMA), and reliance on form field data. Currently, there are new requirements for very specialized formats to be used to complete Fannie Mae compliant appraisal reports, which allow automated computerized review of check boxes and data fields in reports, but DO NOT allow for variations that exist in a large majority of homes appraised, and the computers are not able to “read” addendums or comments made by the appraisers which explain these items specific to the home being appraised. As a result, more and more appraisers are relying on these restrictive “click this box” form fields to complete their appraisals of homes, instead of writing more information which is directed at the individual home they are appraising. In our opinion, this leads to a less accurate and professional report. And with this increased demand for this type of report compliance, there is a potential to punish the appraisers (like US) who take additional time and care to provide more detailed information – which the computers then ignore – and reward those appraisers who take the short cut approach.

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