Biden Calls Out Racial Bias Among Appraisers

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Dave Towne
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Biden Calls Out Racial Bias Among Appraisers

To counteract low appraisals in minority neighborhoods, Biden says he’ll push for training to address racial bias among appraisers…

Appraisers, you might want to “take a gander” at this article in the link below, because it indicates possible/probable changes coming.

I especially like the ‘extra training for appraisers’ to avoid discrimination/racial bias. Not.

In other words, appraisers are at fault for lower values in certain neighborhoods which are not as highly valued as others, and so we must be indoctrinated to be more sensitive.

Buckle up folks, as it’s going to be an interesting ride.

Excerpt from Biden Admin and housing

Biden also has called out discrimination in appraisals. To counteract low appraisals in minority neighborhoods, Biden says he’ll push for training to address racial bias among appraisers.

The appraisal industry’s standards-setting group accepts Biden’s assessment.

“While The Appraisal Foundation’s Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice has specifically prohibited discrimination since the first writing in 1989, it is clear that we must do more,” wrote Dave Bunton, president of The Appraisal Foundation, in a pre-election column.

The National Association of Realtors is similarly amenable to a focus on racial inequality in housing. “It’s the right thing to do,” Yun says.

Image credit flickr - Gage Skidmore
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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40 Responses

  1. Scott Taylor on Facebook Scott Taylor on Facebook says:

    So we are the ones not buying houses in areas of a city with high crime rate and large unemployment???? That’s the appraisers fault? We are giving the reader of the report a snap shot as to the CURRENT actions of Buyers and sellers in a specific market. If buyers are willing to pay more, what should the appraiser do? Bring on the training. Can’t wait.

    • Kathy Morton Bunting Hoey on Facebook Kathy Morton Bunting Hoey on Facebook says:

      All a response to the false story created by VP of Black Knight, Abena Horton who claimed bias in an attempt to smear the appraisal profession to sell her companies AVM Bifurcated Appraisal software that Fannie and Freddie tried to roll out last year and was flatly rejected by appraisers for liability issues.

    • Avatar ej says:

      ***Breaking News*** Appraisers who are using Bradford ClickForms need to cancel their service. Jeff Bradford, CEO of the company, is a massive Biden supporter. See the Twitter account below. Bradford is on board with oncoming persecution of the appraisal industry. Pass along to all appraisers you who use ClickForms. # Cancel ClickForms.

  2. Avatar Jeanie says:

    I’m not surprised by this. Biden was talking about racial bias in appraisals, and proposing more regulation and oversight over appraisers to combat racial bias back in March. He was proposing a national standard that is already in place. He will do what big tech wants. Don’t forget Big Tech and Silicon Valley were top contributors to his campaign and continue to quietly support him (thru censorship, search engines/social media algorithm manipulation, etc.). And we all know what Big Tech is after. 100% control of the valuation industry big business. They’ll do away with us if they can and Joe Biden is here to serve them!

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      If you ever wonder whom is ruling over you, simply identify whom you are not allowed to criticize. Would interfering with the market value approach as we know it today, localized and limited, would expanding that be an example of plunder or production? (image attached.) Who gains when a new higher priced loan is generated? Who pays? From what source is the payment originated? There is a clear difference between something earned in the free market and something bestowed by the government. Taxation is theft. Taxation and plunder requires a lot of oversight, requiring a force more powerful than the invisible hand. Enter expanding government.

      “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it.” Bastiat.

      Oh how about something more tuned to the modern age… What exactly is wrong with lower pricing? I’ve watched pricing scale up in my areas and it’s awful. We can’t move. We lost mobility. We’re getting priced out of everything from another home all the way down to the price of utility and labor services. I swear to you we would have been better off financially if the housing prices had not increased. One can only imagine the damage such an approach of raising pricing in lower income areas would have on the residents long term. Those banksters working with government, pushing these new programs, I’d bet they’re going to do quite well. Honk if I’m paying for your government sponsored lending advocate and subsidizing your purchase price.

  3. Avatar Pat says:

    Please think clearly about this. We are not racist. We have been taught that from Day One.

    Education is a good thing because it give US a podium from which to think AND speak intelligently. Now I vehemently disagree and reject the “so-called study” because it was one man who clearly spoke about getting the data from Zillow.

    We need to expose Zillow for its built in racism!!

  4. Avatar Dean Zibas says:

    What’s a minority neighborhood? How do we know? Here in So. Cal. most every neighborhood’s a minority neighborhood. Some of the higher value areas are 75%+ Chinese minority ownership. Latinos equal or exceed White ownership overall in Orange County. What’s the remedy? Clueless Joe

  5. Avatar Ronald Maloney says:

    The guy is a lackey for the Democratic Party, a con artist and a thief. He lied about his knowledge of his son’s business dealings, sold out the office of the Vice-Presidency and, as a result, is compromised. Now, he suggests Appraisers are racist, next it will be that we’re xenophobic-especially if you “low ball” an appraisal involving a Chinese borrower. Laughable!

  6. Lori Dennis on Twitter Lori Dennis on Twitter says:

    #1 rule in real estate, Location. Location is not biased or racist. The data is the data.

    • Avatar steve says:

      It’s a false narrative. This, however, doesn’t matter when people have an agenda; this being social justice and redistribution based on supposed unconscious bias that they build/support their theory based on the new ‘global racism’/’systemic racism’ definition (difficult to disprove because it’s not as much objective but subjective). Dare to disagree, well they’ll go after your job, your livelihood, your family’s livelihood because to disagree is tantamount to violating the group think and the virtue-signaling. Everyone get in line.

      Could it be that people don’t want to move their family into a high crime area – in Chicago these differences are very stark – Oak Park vs. Austin which is a few blocks over. I would consider living in Oak Park although I would never consider living in Austin. It’s not safe, there’s economic decay, limited school choice, limited businesses, among other things. These are the demographics. This area will also come back (remember from our classes growth, stabilization, decline, revitalization).

      It’s a vicious cycle (for social justice warriors) because to change the demographics would mean to change the environment and lead to (another dirty word) gentrification and revitalization which will bring the neighborhood back up and push out residents who can’t afford new said better/less economically decayed neighborhood.

      The invisible hand does what it want. You can vote for whatever you want, agree with whatever party you want, but at the end of the day (unless you’re a nutter) you’re going to put your family, yourself, in a place that is safe.

      In the wise words of Billy Preston – Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

  7. Erik Richard Morin on Twitter Erik Richard Morin on Twitter says:

    I don’t expect Biden to know as much about appraising as those in our industry but there are mixed opinions.

    • Avatar steve says:

      This is long and there’s a reason; the article leads in with an anecdotal viewpoint. The first appraiser was bad. The second better. Conclusion; first guy must’ve been racist. Was the first appraiser bad, did the second appraiser value it too high, what were the minor decorating adjustments, was this information made available to appraiser 1? How long after was the appraisal completed (and did the market shift by any factors due to the time in between). I see crap come across my desk in reviews that give me white hair all the time.

      “This example showcases a widespread and longstanding issue with real estate appraisal and racism in the United States”. No. It does not. To say that it does is intellectually dishonest.

      The article then goes on to discuss redlining as it specifically pertains to appraisal; a chicken vs. the egg argument with circular logic. Is red-lining an issue with brokers who are not fiduciary’s/are not held to the same standards as someone providing appraisal services, sure.

      If you jump into Junia’s paper you again see the buzzword ‘systemic’, “The findings suggest that variation in appraisal methods coupled with appraisers’ racialized perceptions of neighborhoods perpetuates neighborhood racial disparities in home value. The authors conclude with suggestions for future research and policy interventions aimed at standardizing the appraisal process.” There are standards, it’s USPAP, Intragency Guidelines, FIRREA, etc. Also, the argument, chicken or the egg. And this really is the key point and the problem with race-baiters like Junia. How do you prove that it is appraisers that contribute to “variation in appraisal methods coupled with appraisers’ radicalized perceptions of neighborhoods” is perpetuating or stereotype/negative impact to value; or as I would posit – that appraisers are reporting on the neighborhood housing stock, socioeconomic status, and amenities which make such areas less desirable as comparison to like-kind product in more desirable areas. Would love to read it but of course it’s behind a pay-wall.

      I’ll add my own anecdotal story, I refinanced my home because #2020. The value was very low and I eventually got another appraisal….it was not because of the color of my skin. 1.) The market has shifted dramatically over a period of months, 2.) First appraiser didn’t even enter my house, they literally drove by it and missed a number of things – nor did they call.

      “…an appraiser might see family photos on bedside tables that reveal a homeowner’s race and then decide — consciously or unconsciously — that a Black homeowner’s property is more comparable to homes in predominantly Black neighborhoods instead of to recently sold homes in their own neighborhood….”. I don’t know about all of you but that’s not how searching for comparables work. Would love it if I could just throw shit against a wall and see if it sticks because I say so.

      The article then goes on to say “eliminated all signs of Blackness from their home – swapped out family photos, removed certain books and ….this time they found the appraisal price increased by 40%”. The scientists reading this will know that that may make a great social experiment but it’s not a good representation. Why? The variables were changed. The biggest variable? – The couple went with a completely different appraiser (we all know appraisers always agree right?……” A better way to test this hypothesis would’ve been to hire the same appraiser for three houses in the same neighborhood, like-kind houses, and then have pictures of white family, (PC) person of color family, and latinx family.

      The article then suggests that appraisers were using sales from the same areas which effectively compounded low market value in disenfranchised neighborhoods. This again is a logical fallacy. In the last 80 years, some neighborhoods have gone, and others have come back (Growth, Stabilization, Decline, Revitalization – a foundation in either basic appraisal principles or procedures but there nevertheless). It’s not possible to say that there has been a permanent depression in disenfranchised neighborhoods as the neighborhoods that are disenfranchised from the last 80 years have shifted, some areas have gotten worse, others have gotten better. Markets are not static (and this highlights a problem when sociologists do the work of economists).

      “Research shows homes in black and latinx communities are worth considerably less” – another chicken or the egg scenario discussed above. “Contrary to what is often presumed, neighborhood racial composition was a stronger determinant of appraised values in 2015 than it was in 1980.” – if you read their paper from sept. 2020 – is it because disenfranchised communities have gotten worse and therefore compounding problems or is it that appraisers have just somehow become more biased than the population in the 60s.

      “the use of the sales comparison approach has allowed historical racialized appraisals to influence contemporary values and appraisers’ racialized assumptions about neighborhoods to drive appraisal methods” – they’ve picked up on the sales approach I’m assuming because of the adjustments grids. You can’t really argue with income approach because the NOI is what the NOI is (although they get to that later), you could argue with cost approach on external / physical / functional obsolescence (they didn’t because they probably don’t know what all those words mean). Sales approach was low hanging fruit I bet. Again, behind a paywall if you wanted to read the work and critique it.

      And how do they suggest to solve it? – “Some nonprofits, like the mission-driven lender and developer IFF, are offering loans on an income-based approach instead of using comps or replacement costs to assess property value. And that’s a great start.” – so they’re using the income approach on a SFR property that doesn’t generate income…..uh huh. I’d love to see those projections and signed agreements/leases. I would suggest based on what I’m seeing on IFFs website that they’re not at market (by the mere fact that a supportable market value at the value IFF is using is just not market supported). Again – nothing wrong with this if this is their mission and a great one it is. But this is not appraisal. Don’t make something up and expect people to accept your dogma.

      If you’ve gotten this far. Great. My point? – There are stark differences between what is being written about appraisal and what is true. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it so. An anecdotal story does not a fact make. Please think critically before parroting this stuff; it does a great disservice to the entire industry. Appraisers do not advocate for their clients, but we do advocate on behalf of the merits and objectivity/market supportability of our work. While I’m sure Alesandra Dublin, the author is well meaning, her specialties of real estate, travel, health, etc. and her master’s degree in journalism limit her ability to understand what she’s writing about. How many of you reading this have spent YEARS of your life learning markets, learning appraisal, learning real estate. I apologize for the long post but the stuff I’m seeing that people purport as fact is just disturbing and on another level.

      • Avatar E J says:

        I have not used the term LatinX yet. Is that considered racist ? I don’t want to brand anyone with a moniker. I might be labeled a racist.

        • Avatar steve says:

          Latinx is the new term used that is politically correct (until it’s not). It’s a relatively new term, gender neutral/non-binary/more inclusive.

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Great writing and great points Steve. The ‘everyone is racist’ narrative is a highly profitable platform for some. How can they generate more loans, and to whom can they be generated with. Let’s argue for higher prices in low income neighborhoods alongside new and substantial expansion of government programs. We’ll need to get those low income areas up to speed with higher prices if we want meaningful solutions to address poverty… Bastiat, on legal plunder. History repeats.
        Ron and Dan are on fire with these social issues. The voices of reason and logic in troubling times.
        “Are you going to cancel thanksgiving?” An episode worth watching.

        Many people in our current day are unaware of how central banks (the federal reserve) directs the holding, and withholding of wealth across broad segments of society across the world. What could be a more radical change than placing the power of the printing press with The People? (Jefferson quotes). How downtrodden are the struggling Americans? And how much do these government giveaways and war efforts really cost? For people whom don’t understand how money works, understanding the difference between price and value can be a difficult concept. As the federal reserve churns through it’s final hours on the last percentages of the remaining dollars value, it needs radical new programs and radical government expansion to maintain the status quo. You are watching political theater.

        When we expand government we do not generate wealth for most people. But rather the expansion of government breaks the social contract of promising unalienable rights and economic prosperity for all. The constitution was developed to limit such powers of government, to protect the people from whom always inevitably tries to take hold of a government; money changers and tyrants. There is a saying; “There is no such thing as government. There are merely those whom rule, and those whom allow themselves to be ruled over.” If we want to really make a difference with impoverished Americans, it’s time to stop talking about race, and start talking about abolishing the federal reserve, limiting both the powers and the size of government. Thereby returning the wealth of this nation to where it belongs. Out of the hands of bankers and into the hands of The People. These racial argument pundits seem to think they can tax their way to prosperity, solving racial inequality through the force of government. The mechanism for prosperity is already available, if only they understood the way to utilize this is to limit the powers of government. Expanding the powers of government has deleterious effects. For any gain in one segment of society through the use of government force, inevitably results in a net loss to others. Redistributing wealth through the power of taxation should not be confused with generating economic prosperity.

  8. Cecilia Karr on Facebook Cecilia Karr on Facebook says:

    Don’t get me started… SMH

  9. Avatar Steve says:

    So he thinks appraisers, a group of many different races, are racially biased. How dumb.

  10. Avatar steve says:

    Well Biden said it, so judging from everything else I guess it’s true. Politicians would never lie, right? It’s not like he’s been part of the machine for 5 decades.

    Man….I need to stretch for the mental gymnastics these next four years will bring.

  11. Avatar E J Brown says:

    OK, the 1 mile radius rumor has been exposed. So I’m expecting some reconsideration of values coming in with lower comps furnished by “third parties”, who ever they are, because my value is too high and the subject exceeds the neighborhood predominate value. We’ll never win.

  12. Avatar steve says:

    Oh geeze – ok, i’m going to leave this here. Apparently “The sales comparison approach can result in appraisers valuing homes based on pricing that was made before fair housing laws took effect in the 1960s and 1970s, researchers say.”

    The stupid is too strong. I just have no tolerance for the bullshit today. and what pray tell is Junia a professor of? Well if you guessed economics you would be wrong. Of course it’s sociology,….because why wouldn’t this bullshit study be from someone with limited understanding of the field. Apparently we’re using sales from the 60s…..ffs.

    Factually, people just don’t understand what it is that we do. If you want to give grants and artificially prop up neighborhoods with additional monies, that’s a different idea/argument. Telling me that market value is wrong based on blinded demographic data….please. Maybe it’s time for a new value definition. Social Value.

  13. Avatar Mark Skap says:

    My thought is this… there is always good that can come from bad and right from wrong. So in this instance they want more classes and training. Ok. So we take some classes and training. It can’t hurt. Can it? It can only help strengthen the appraisers argument and our reports from further scrutiny. What it doesn’t change is the fundamentals of how value is derived. How location is the main key and that homes in two different areas, although similar are not the same due to being located in different locations.. It won’t change external factors. The good that comes from this is that maybe we won’t hear stories of racial bias, how their homes are treated differently than homes in another area, and it can now be backed up by these classes and education they want to make us take all while continuing to do what appraisers do. It will add even further support to reports (I’ll stick in my class certificate) The only thing that could possibly change is if they demand we appraise homes in one area to homes that are not in similar areas or locations which I can’t see happening. I for one am all about listening to the argument and possibly learning something different all while being able to control my business and my reports. We can’t control what higher ups and other people think and want to do. We can’t control how non appraisers see us or how they think they know better especially now with Zillow and other Algorithms that everyone references. We can’t control locations nor the market. We can only control what we can do and how we decide to move forward. So while everyone out there is screaming appraisers are biased, appraisers are racist, our home is worth the same as a home 2 miles away etc, we as appraisers know this isn’t true yet we are here telling each other instead of telling the others that don’t know what reality is. Everyone but appraisers are listening to people like Andre Perry and his brookings study that relies on Zillow. Everyone is reading articles written due to a homeowners personal experience, experiment and more. What hasn’t happened is any appraiser or organization actually standing up, waiving their hand in a crazy fashion like Screech in saved by the bell or Sheldon in Big Bang Theory, demanding to tell the correct answer to all this. Maybe someday someone will.

  14. Avatar Ed Schaar says:

    Man, what a dumb f**k but he will probably deny he ever said that…lol

    I know appraise those blighted areas higher so that there will be more forclosures…lol
    More training and maybe we will find out how bad some of those areas are and even come in lower in values.

    Santa Ana is not the same as Newport Beach…lol

  15. Avatar ej says:

    Biden is Illegitimate, so whatever criminal law he passes, I will discard.

  16. Guy Szudera on Facebook Guy Szudera on Facebook says:

    This just feeds homeowners the wrong message. I was recently turned into the state because a homeowner was mad at my opinion of market value. In the complaint they stated my comments at the time of the appraisal were “racist.” I barely spoke to the homeowner, and what I did say was definitely not racist. These types of news stories make the public claim racism where there clearly isn’t any. So sad what our country has become.

  17. Avatar ShenValley Appraiser says:

    So, following their claims, shouldn’t Assessors and Assessments be included in this re-education? Aren’t differing Assessments biased, using their logic? So who decides which way to achieve Racial Equality in the Taxation Valuation System – does everyone pay more or less ?

  18. Avatar Bill Johnson says:

    Please help! Considering market value is mostly weighted toward the sales comparison approach, can someone please tell me where I can find the skin color of the seller and buyer in my local MLS? If appraisers are racist, wouldn’t we need to know this information when selecting our comps/determining value? Does anyone here use an agent interview template where skin color is a question so sales can be vetted? If someone of a dark skin buys from someone with a white skin, and I use the sale for a refinance for someone with a skin tone in-between, I’m I the racist or are we all racist?

    So many questions.

    Seek the truth.

  19. Chance the Appraiser on Twitter Chance the Appraiser on Twitter says:

    I’m still trying to get certified. I would appreciate it if we didn’t add yet another class to the lineup please and thank you. Oh, and this topic is already covered under the USPAP ethics rule is it not? #followthedata

  20. AngeloDS on Twitter AngeloDS on Twitter says:

    We rely on data, but data can be biased. Extra training, more knowledge, it can’t hurt.

  21. Avatar Cotton says:

    So we are to believe anything that these scumbag democrats have to say? This is coming from the party that paid for the release of the china virus, staged and promotes fake racism, gives awards to criminals for resisting arrest or attacking police, the party that wants to defund the police and military, supports racist hate groups such as BLM, pays for violent protests, uses the media to spread lies and deception. The democrats are the party that endorse the destruction of America! This is the same party that rigged the election. Guessing we now have all forgotten about the laptop right? Why are we willing to accept any thing these people have to say? Stupidity should never have a voice in this country! Remember he’s our president because the media said so! If you have guns I advise you polish them up! If you voted for these scum bags god bless your feeble little minds! These democrats need to be hung from the gallows for treason!

    • Avatar Bill says:

      Incredible! This is a work of art and I couldn’t agree more. Biden is complete idiot. It’s impossible to be a racist appraiser when all of the comps come from the same neighborhood and we have no idea the ethnicity of the homeowners.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Remember that you are watching political theater. This red/blue dichotomy has it’s limits. The bureaucrats quite readily agree on a whole host of issues, the issues not so heavily publicized and promoted on the public channels. They agree on perpetual war, infinite monetary expansion, ongoing corporate subsidies, ongoing governmental expansion, maintaining existing power structures and favorite friends. This is not just a random assortment of ongoing tragedies. Chaos by design. Here, try one of my preferred brands.

      “These companies have at various times been found guilty of all sorts of crimes that they have paid tens of billions of dollars in fines for. They are also loaded with conflicts of interest in nearly every venture they are involved with. Yet we’re now supposed to believe these companies are going to put aside their profit incentives and fix the whole system?”

      Um yeah. One of the very last things I’m concerned with is being called a racist. I’ve long since discounted the entire argument as rhetorical nonsense and coincidental relationships without substantive causal factors. Sure there are problems, but they’re not attributable to appraisers specifically. All they have is conjecture on this matter because they have been unable and will continue to be unable to actually prove it.

      • Avatar chase says:

        A science fiction fan and libertarian (classical liberal). You give me a lot of hope 🙂

        • Baggins Baggins says:

          It’s an internet quote photo. A historical reference from somewhere else and some time else. I have tens of thousands political pictures saved and pick them based on the scenario at hand, sourced from broad belief spectrums. That photo was coupled with meaningful informational source references in todays modern era. Hope is all around us but who has the courage to embrace that in this brave new world driven by fear, doubt, and confusion.

          The principals of liberty asserted in the Constitution were once staple moral values in this country that led to meaningful lasting change which everyone benefited from, regardless of their exact political leaning. Because those enumerated rights and stated principals did not rely on government, The People themselves created our prosperous society. With every new government program and call for governmental injection, with each additional tax increase, we get further away from the promise of prosperity, casting aside our posterity as a consequence.

          Sci fi kicks butt because it’s an expression of human imagination and ingenuity. Many of the things they dreamed up in previous sci fi are indeed realities today. Classic liberalism did take us from serfdom to liberty and independence, the grandest and most successful social experiment in the history of mankind. Which those whom do not know their history seem all to keen to cast aside and rewrite today.


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Biden Calls Out Racial Bias Among Appraisers

by Dave Towne time to read: 1 min