New guidelines for choosing appraisers, comps

Fannie Mae says appraisers must have local knowledge

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Fannie Mae has put lenders on official notice that they can only use appraisers who are knowledgeable about the area in which they are being asked to value property, and who have the ability to access records on recent sales in those markets.

In a June 30 notice updating several policies related to appraisals, Fannie Mae also fleshed out previous guidance to lenders on the selection and use of comparable sales, saying appraisers must consider a property’s condition when choosing to use foreclosure sales or short sales as comps.

Fannie Mae is also barring lenders from making unilateral changes to appraisal reports, including the appraised value, saying only the appraiser who completed the original report is authorized to change it.