No to Desktops with Third Party Inspectors

Say No to Desktops with Third Party Inspectors. Hybrid Appraisals were tested and failed. So what does Fannie Mae do? Let’s call them Desktops with third party inspectors.

Fannie Mae has announced they will soon start accepting Desktop Appraisals. The appraiser does not inspect the property; however an interior floor plan including walls is required. This in itself is over and above what most appraisers typically provide. We understand Fannie Mae’s decision is based on risk; however, risk is not part of an Appraiser’s analysis under USPAP. Will State Appraisal Boards look the other way for USPAP compliance?

How will an Appraiser who does not inspect the property provide an interior floor plan with walls? Will the Appraiser rely on virtual software with the assistance of the homeowner? If so, how will the Appraiser verify the data to comply with USPAP? Will the lender/AMC provide the sketch by an unknown third party? Does having an unknown third party or homeowner provide this information promote public trust? Will investors of the Mortgage Backed Securities accept these products? So many unanswered questions exist. See what Fannie Mae has to say about Desktop Appraisals.

We are not going to rehash everything that is wrong with the Hybrid Appraisal products (and that is exactly what this product is!) We have been there and done that. There is lots of information and comments on AppraisersBlogs, AppraisersForum and within the Facebook Appraisal Groups.

We are simply going to share a petition that was started and ask you consider signing and sharing it with your colleagues, friends and professional associations.

Where are the protections for consumers to know who might be coming into their homes? …Are These third-party inspectors adequately trained? Are these inspectors being Background checked? Consumers deserve to know who comes to their homes and what role they play in the process… Read more »

VaCAP Board
Image credit flickr - Paul Swansen
VaCAP Board

VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Xpert says:

    Signed! But the best thing we can do is to just say NO!

    • Avatar Mike Harding says:

      No will be my response to desktop appraisals for Fannie. Providing room divisions on a floor plan has little value in my opinion. It adds little credibility to an appraisal. The best option the Feds and Lenders could support is to enlarge the appraisal pipeline and allow the Appraiser’s trainees or employees, competent in measuring by the ANSI Standard, to complete the field inspections. This works for liability and adherence to USPAP. It’s just that simple.

  2. Avatar Dave says:

    This product is NOT about collateral verification; therefore a licensed appraiser is NOT necessary. Who out there has any interest in working for less than $200/assignment. Don’t join in the circular firing squad. Ignore all inquiries.

  3. Avatar Juliana Homstead says:

    I too have signed the petition and I agree with Xpert’s post above. We simply say NO. I personally do not see how this product complies with USPAP and I have no intention of risking my license and livelihood no matter what fee they’re offering. There are much better ways of achieving the goals they claim to be after I.e. faster turn times. Why not let our own trainees who are under our E&O Insurance inspect and measure properties once we feel they are ready. Instead they would rather have those with an interest in the outcome of the sale provide data for us and then expect us to be willing to sign a report and assume all liability. I think what these folks really want is their fingers in the pie more than they already are! Do you think they will charge borrowers any less? I seriously doubt it. That’s a BIG FAT NO from this appraiser!

  4. Avatar Mary says:

    Done and Shared. Hybrids failed and so will these. These are even worse as someone tied to the transaction will likely be the ones measuring the home! Just say NO and they cannot succeed.

  5. Avatar Scott G Hedrick says:

    Just counter their fee/turn time for a desktop for $3,000. That will hopefully send a clear message.

  6. Avatar Scott says:

    Like others have said, as well as Nancy Regan: “JUST SAY NO”.

    With that being said my intention is to counter EVERY ONE with a full cost 1004 appraisal fee and add an extra $100 or so just for wasting our time and trying to eliminate appraisers in general.

    Way beyond sick and tired of Artificial Intelligence trying to eliminate EVERY job out there. Look at some stores now trying to eliminate all cashiers with Scan & Go. They say the cashiers can be trained or freed up for other jobs. What jobs? Being HOMELESS by the side of a freeway?

  7. Ericalynn Vojacek on Facebook Ericalynn Vojacek on Facebook says:


  8. Avatar Coalmine Canary says:

    Amazingly, while these are horrible – everyone seems to miss the real issue that will hit us all in 2023. As of 2023, if the ASB gets its way in a few weeks, the word “inspection” or “personal inspection” will no longer be defined in USPAP. That means they don’t even have to play this game. “Desktop” appraisal is just a stopgap until 2023. After that, they can say looking at pictures on a screen constitutes an INSPECTION. It’s no longer a desktop or a hybrid, it’s a “full inspection”. Because the ASB says “inspection” should mean the “common dictionary definition” of the word – which is ANYTHING – since the dictionary says it is “to examine closely” and doesn’t say thing about being PHYSICALLY PRESENT. Sure, the ASB gave themselves a nice bit of CYA that you can bury a line deep in the Scope of Work about what the inspection was, but the vast majority of homeowner and homebuyers are going to get appraisals that no longer say “Desktop” or “Hybrid” but rather LOOK like “full interior inspection” appraisals but the appraiser never set foot in the property. A few years ago we would have called that FRAUD. How many of you commented to the ASB? THIS is where the power is and we’re doing nothing about it. TAF needs its statutory authority removed ASAP.

  9. Avatar Aunie Buck says:

    If appraisers agree to do these, you may as well kiss your career goodbye!

  10. Avatar Jack Of All Trades says:

    It’s very obvious that Fannie Mae is thumbing their nose to appraisers.

  11. Aaron Plumlee on Facebook Aaron Plumlee on Facebook says:


  12. Avatar Dave says:

    Nice to see some smart reactions to this desktop fiasco. Appraisers are needed for one purpose – to independently verify and document the collateral so it goes from paper to liquid money and can be sold to investors thereby allowing lenders to recapture money for another investment. Currently FANNIE is the dumping ground and they are exposing themselves to even greater risk – “non-liquid” paper because of poor collateral verification. In other words you are working and getting the big bucks for collateral verification – no one cares about the actual appraised value.

  13. Avatar ej says:

    Keep it up. There are over 1,0000 signatures in 24 hours. Pass the petition to friends and family. Say no to fraudulent and fake Fannie “appraisals.”

  14. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    This should be interesting (watching appraisers organize for ANYTHING). Even if it were to work, you are assuming that they have an interest in allowing appraisers to alter their final decision. Name one instance of when this group has allowed appraisers to have an impact upon their own profession. A handful of us were predicting third party inspections ten years ago when the massive exodus of appraisers began. It was the obvious second phase of an AI takeover of your profession. I recommend searching for something else and using these appraisal scraps as your “dinner out” income before interest rates begin to soar.

  15. Avatar Dave says:

    Retired Appraiser retired and left 100’s of thousands on the table. Had he trippled his fees he’d still be working and would have money in the bank. Who gave the lenders the authority to determine fees. Less appraisers means higher fees. Again, it is all about neutral 3rd party collateral verification. FANNIE will learn eventually!

    • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

      Appraisers today are charging less than I was when I walked away in 2009 and spending at least 50% to 100% more time on each report. I spent 4 years making that decision before refusing to pay license renewal fees. Never confuse staying busy with making money…too many appraisers make that mistake.


  16. Avatar sb says:

    Can only imagine a Realtor’s reaction when a desktop appraisal comes in at a value below the sale price.

    The very first thing they will howl about is the appraiser not performing the inspection.

    This is not going to end well.


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No to Desktops with Third Party Inspectors

by VaCAP Board time to read: 1 min