FHA Single Family Handbook Update Delivers Clarity for Appraisers, Say Realtors®

WASHINGTON (October 5, 2016) — Realtors® raised concerns earlier this year when the Federal Housing Administration’s “Single Family Housing Policy Handbook” included new requirements for appraisers to operate and physically observe appliances on a property during the completion of an appraisal. This inspector-type role far exceeded previously understood appraiser duties and had the potential to make appraisals longer and more costly for consumers.

In response to those concerns, HUD recently announced updates to their SF Handbook that clarifies this requirement. According to the new guidance, appraisers must simply note that certain appliances contributing to the market value of the property are physically present.

The National Association of Realtors® expressed appreciation to FHA for its clarification in the following statement from NAR President Tom Salomone:

“Appraisers have a lot on their plate, and their work is important to ensuring buyers, sellers, lenders and everyone else involved in a transaction has a credible source to turn to when determining the value of a property. Requiring appraisers to perform duties that are better left to a home inspector only slows the process while potentially adding unnecessary costs.

“FHA did appraisers and consumers a big favor by clarifying appraiser duties and specifically listing the appliances to which this new guidance applies. While there are still improvements to be made, FHA’s announcement provides our Realtor® members with additional certainty as they continue playing a critical role in the home buying and selling process.”

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