The Covid-19 Pandemic has impacted each of us in its own way. Plenty of change is happening in the appraisal industry during this time, and more recently, with Freddie Mac. With new policies and ongoing policy adjustments, there can be confusion among those who are most impacted: the appraiser. We sat down with Scott Reuter, Chief Appraiser and Director of Valuation for Freddie Mac, about his upcoming webinar, “Freddie Mac Temporary Appraisal Flexibilities Due to Covid-19” happening on April 30th at 12 pm EDT where he will discuss Freddie Mac’s most recent policies in response to appraising during the Covid-19 crisis.
Buzz: For those who don’t know you, can you give a brief background of your life in the valuation industry?
Scott: I am a Certified-General Appraiser with 30+ years of experience in the business. My Dad was an appraiser, so I came about this profession like many of my peers – working in a family business. The first half of my career was spent as a practicing appraiser, then I worked on the corporate/bank review side until being recruited to Freddie Mac in 2016. I am currently the Chief Appraiser and SF Director of Valuation for Freddie Mac, and I love my job!
Buzz: Are there any new updates to Freddie Mac policies that you’ll be discussing during the free webinar?
Scott: Yes, I plan on reviewing our Bulletin 2020-5 from March 23, 2020 that announced our temporary appraisal guidelines and flexibilities, along with the subsequent release of Bulletin 2020-8 on March 31, 2020.
Buzz: How has the appraisal community done in properly implementing the new guidelines?
Scott: For the most part, appraisers are doing a great job adapting to the flexibilities and guidelines as announced. That said, we see some trends and areas for improvement. I am happy to review those to provide clarity in how the industry should be implementing them. I mostly want to clear up any questions and provide a clear message.
Buzz: What areas are still causing confusion or problems for appraisers in the field?
Scott: At times, utilizing the correct form along with accurately populating the map reference field. When implementing our flexibilities, appraisers are asked to properly identify report type along with the appropriate modified scope of work, certifications, and limiting conditions.
Buzz: Do you think the new policies Freddie Mac has put in place have proven to be beneficial to appraisers during the Covid-19 crisis?
Scott: In my view, these flexibilities go a long way to ensure appraisers stay safe. By broadening our guidelines and allowing desktop and exterior-only options, lenders and appraisers have additional options. The balance here, first and foremost, is the safety of the appraisers, along with prudent risk management policies and oversight for Freddie Mac.
Buzz: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae seem to work together on many projects. How do you decide which policies to keep the same where to branch off and take a different route?
Scott: We generally work together at the direction of our regulator.
Thank you for answering our questions! Make sure to tune into our free webinar, “Freddie Mac Temporary Appraisal Flexibilities Due to Covid-19” with Scott Reuter as our host on April 30th at 12 pm EDT!
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