Published by: K. Taton | 4/5/2020

How COVID-19 is Changing Home Appraisals and Closing Appointments

As a country, we are experiencing the affect of COVID-19 on our daily lives, changing the way we interact with others; social gatherings, travelling, grocery shopping, schooling, and more. It’s challenging businesses to rethink their normal practices.

When it comes to the home buying or home refinancing process, mortgage companies have been seeking efficiency more than ever and in unprecedented ways. Traditional “musts” have been modified to achieve the primary goal of protecting the health and safety of those who have critical responsibilities in the loan closing.

Home Appraisals

At Union Home Mortgage (UHM), certain government and conventional loan purchase or refinances now require an exterior only or desktop appraisal* as opposed to a full interior and exterior appraisal.

The vital role of the appraisal (Read more on Why is an appraisal necessary?) in the loan process helps protect both seller and buyer. With the present circumstances, these new procedures continue to allow for the appraiser to carry out the necessary responsibilities while protecting all parties under social distancing and health standards.

Closing Appointments

The final stage of the loan process, closing, typically requires in-person interaction in the retail space. The addition of the Borrower Health Screening Form and Visitor Health Screening Questionnaire Form – filled out prior to closing - follow industry suit, and the UHM policy of 15-feet distance from present parties further encourage minimal contact.

If a UHM employee (Partner) attends an in-person closing, there is a limit of one per meeting. However, UHM Partners are encouraged to utilize alternative means (phone, video, etc.) to participate in the loan closing process.

As current events continue to evolve, companies like UHM will continue to update procedures – the way we do business – to protect our customers, referral partners and our employees. It’s our priority to constantly keep you informed and educated as always to help you accomplish your dreams of homeownership, even through unparalleled times.

We know in these uncertain times there can be a lot of questions. Check out our FAQs for further assistance, or another one of our resources.

*at the appraiser’s discretion

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