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What are the facts?

You may have read or heard about the recent CBC Marketplace report investigating whether a homeowner's ethnic background affected the appraised value of their home. I for one am a little disappointed by the information portrayed because it gave the impression that ethnic background makes a difference. There are so many things that could have resulted in the appraised values results. 

You can access the report here. It's an interesting article.

There are some things that are worth noting:

 

- It would be naive to suggest that racism doesn't exist. It's pervasive in all industries. The key is to not assume everyone is alike. There are more good people in the world than bad. More quality appraisers than poor;-

- It's possible the appraiser that gave the lowest value sensed there was something fishy going on. They may have asked the person if they were the homeowner twice because they did a search prior to going to the home, the search tells them the name of the registered owner of the property, and it's possible the name given on the appraisal order didn't match up with what's registered on title. 

- It's typical for there to be variances in appraised values across appraisers. From personal experience, I find the most experienced appraisers provide accurate values. It's possible some of the appraisers that went out had different levels of experience.

- It's my opinion that the Appraisal Institute of Canada takes matters of this nature seriously and will investigate further if provided with copies of the reports. I don't believe CBC Marketplace has made them available to the AIC - that's a shame because it would shed light on why there may have been differences.


There are several reasons why appraised values can differ. For example, was the scope the same for each appraiser? Some appraisers limit the scope of their work. Differences in scope often result in differences in the final value estimate.

It's a good idea to check the data and the math in the reports. It's possible one appraiser made an error in the size of the lot, or the above ground living area, which will result in a different appraised value. It's also possible a math error slipped through the cracks.

There are other reasons for possible value differences. Click Here to get more information. 

We believe there are ways to reduce / limit differences in values across appraisers. Examples include embedding lender requirements right into the software used by appraisers, so issues get flagged before sending the report. Having a systematic approach to how property information is gathered is a way to build consistency across appraisers.

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Value Connect offers lenders with in-depth reviews of their appraisal fulfillment processes that results in recommendations that typically save their individual underwriters 3-6 weeks of wasted time while decreasing risk. It also eliminates appraisal rework, saving appraisers time and improving job satisfaction.

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