Appraisals in Today's Real Estate Market in Westchester

I've been getting a lot of questions about appraisals, so I thought I'd touch base on what's happening with appraisals during COVID-19.

When we had the stay in place orders and everything was paused, including real estate, obviously transactions were still occurring. People still had closings that were underway or deals that had already gone into effect prior to COVID. Banks were still doing appraisals during that time, but they ended up becoming drive-by appraisals. How drive-by appraisals work-- the appraisers would contact the agents involved in the transaction and they would ask them a few questions. Then they would do a drive-by of the property, as well as drive-by some of the recent comparables that the appraisers had available to them. That was working pretty well. Obviously, during coronavirus, these precautions were necessary.

As things started to loosen with the different phases, and real estate went into phase two, appraisers have been doing a few things differently. Some are still in the drive-by status. Some have asked sellers to have all the doors, closets, etc. open with no one in the house, and the appraiser will go in with COVID protection and take a look at the property.

Now that we're in phase four, I had my first appraisal today where I actually met the appraiser in person, of course, we had our protective equipment on and we did get into the property and the appraiser was able to walk around and see the property in person. So things are getting a little bit easier here in New York.

We have seen quite a big change in the market, however, since the coronavirus started. And so it has taken appraisers a little bit of time to catch up with the recent comps. Many properties are now pending and many of those were in competitive bids. So all of this information is very important for appraisers to know as they're preparing their appraisal for the bank. Some banks have required two appraisals just to make sure that everybody's numbers jive. But again, things have happened very quickly in the market and things are changing.

But we are now seeing more "solds" since COVID-19, or as we call them "market-proven" and that is really helpful. For a few months there, most things were just pending, but now a lot of things are going into sold and there are some solid comparables for appraisers to use.

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