Covid-19 Update – April 20, 2020
At Adlaw Appraisals, we conduct residential and commercial appraisals for many purposes, including mortgage financing. We are adjusting swiftly to the necessary changes brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the direction of both the Government of Canada and the Appraisal Institute of Canada, appraisers are no longer able to complete interior inspections of homes to ensure the safety of both the appraisers and the occupants. Most banks and lenders have also adjusted their lending criteria to include appraisals based on an exterior inspection only; however, there are four important caveats to keep in mind:
- An appraisal inspection time must be made, as done before COVID-19. This ensures most of the interior of the home is visible from the outside and any animals are placed inside while the appraiser completes an exterior inspection (front and back). To assist the appraiser, occupants or realtors should have all blinds open and lights turned on for maximum visibility of the interior of the home.
- The appraiser must inspect the full exterior of the property, including taking photos of the street, front exterior, rear exterior, and rear yard. The appraiser may also take up to 4 pictures of the interior through the windows.
- Appraisers are to collect photos from the occupant or realtor. These photos must be taken with the Timestamp Camera App (free for iPhone and Android users) and sent directly to the appraiser. Photos must be taken within 48 hours of the appointment date to be used and relied upon in an appraisal report. This ensures each photo is tagged with a time and location.
- In some cases, lenders may require that the appraiser and occupant conduct an interior inspection through a video call. In these cases, the occupant or realtor must arrange a time when they can be available to walk the full interior of the home while on a video call with the appraiser.
Although adjusting to this “new normal” may seem ominous, it is not as daunting as one might imagine. Most people have smartphones and are familiar with camera and app functions so these new instructions should feel rather straightforward. If, for some reason, the homeowner or realtor has trouble following these instructions, we have means of cross-referencing photo capture dates and geo-location to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the provided interior photos so that all stakeholders’ interests are protected.
Above all, we believe that this is a time when we can all demonstrate our resolve and work together to achieve a common goal, despite these challenging times; and we are always happy to help.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy Spring 2020!