Credit crisis puts pressure on appraisals

Finding current market value dicey in today's market

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The credit crisis profoundly affected the home loan business. Lenders’ underwriters now scrutinize every aspect of the mortgage approval process, including the property appraisal.

Most lenders now require that buyers make a down payment to ensure they have an equity stake in the property. Lenders are also concerned about declining property values.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae guidelines, which set the standard for the appraisal industry, require that an appraiser use comparable sales that closed within the last six months.