The Hybrid Appraisal: It’s Cheaper, but Does It Protect Homebuyers? logo

Story by Lisa Marie Conklin

If you need a mortgage to buy a home you have your eye on, it’s standard for your lender to order an appraisal of the property.

But when your lender says it’s ordering a hybrid appraisal instead of a traditional appraisal, what does that mean exactly?

Here’s what you need to know about this newer appraisal method and how it works to determine the value of the home you want to buy.

Is a hybrid appraisal accurate?

You might wonder how a hybrid stacks up against a traditional appraisal if no one is setting foot in your house. Could something get missed if the appraiser isn’t on-site and relying on third-party vendors?

The fact that hybrid appraisers have a high standard to meet might reassure you.

“Fannie Mae requires that data collectors be professionally trained, have annual background checks, and the knowledge necessary to complete the property data collection competently,” says Kenon Chen, executive vice president of strategy and growth at Clear Capital, an approved Fannie Mae vendor, who has completed more than 250,00 Government Sponsored Enterprise hybrid appraisals.

A hybrid appraisal is also less expensive and takes less time to complete as appraisers can focus on evaluating the local market and comparable sales instead of managing several appointments and driving to different homes.

According to Chen, there are generally fewer customer escalation issues due in part to the required robust, standardized data and the use of mobile technology, which drive a more consistent appraisal process in every neighborhood.

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