Story by Isaac Peck
March 19th, 2022 marked the official date that Fannie Mae started accepting desktop appraisals—a date that will perhaps signify a monumental shift in the appraisal industry as we look back at the industry one day. Just how many mortgages will these changes affect?
Fannie Mae’s criteria is fairly straightforward. All mortgages which meet the following criteria will qualify for desktop appraisals:
- Purchase transaction
- Single family; one unit
- Primary residence
- LTV of 90% or less
Clear Capital, a real estate valuation and technology company which also operates an appraisal management company, is taking a hybrid approach. Kenon Chen, Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Clear Capital, reports that because there isn’t a critical mass yet of real estate agents providing floor plans on the MLS, Clear Capital is currently offering its lender clients a hybrid appraisal model in order to deliver the desktop product.
In other words, Chen says that lenders may be wary to order a desktop if they aren’t sure a floor plan is going to be available to the appraiser, or if the appraiser will have enough data. The solution to this is to send a property data collector to the subject property, according to Chen. “To create certainty for lenders, a bridge has to be created in the short-term, which means having a non-appraiser go out and get the data that is needed, then providing it to the appraiser. That’s why we’ve launched Clear Capital’s Desktop Appraisal and Desktop Data Collection products—we provide certainty to the lender that the appraiser will have a floor plan to complete the desktop appraisal That way when the lender orders the desktop, they’re not waiting and hoping that it will work out. They have certainty,” says Chen.
In other words, in the (many) cases where the MLS doesn’t have a floor plan that the appraiser can use, Clear Capital will send out a real estate professional to collect one. “If a floor plan isn’t included in the MLS, Clear Capital has a network of licensed real estate agents and brokers who can inspect the property using CubiCasa’s mobile scanning technology, which will create a floor plan that includes interior and exterior measurements of the property in about five minutes. The CubiCasa technology will also provide measurements per ANSI standards,” reports Chen.