How We’re Handling Home Appraisals And Closings During COVID-19Maintaining the health and safety of our clients, our team members and our community is our highest priority. We are also focused on keeping your clients’ real estate transactions moving forward. At a time when social distancing due to COVID-19, also commonly known as the coronavirus, is in effect, we understand that visits from appraisers and signing agents may raise concern. In order to be open and transparent, we’re reaching out with this message to update you on our ongoing efforts to keep your clients safe. These are extraordinary times and we are taking extraordinary measures to complete clients’ real estate transactions in a safe and secure manner, including:
- Actively engaging with our appraisers and signing agents to ensure that no one is conducting inspections or closings who shouldn’t be – based on their recent travel, interactions, showing signs of symptoms, etc.
- Working to ensure that our team members and partners understand and follow all CDC guidelines and best practices.
- Encouraging appraisers and signing agents to take proper sanitary measures the entire time they are at a client’s home.
Shelter-In-Place OrderEven though shelter-in-place orders are in effect in many areas of the country, the mortgage process can still continue and appraisers and closing agents can still enter clients’ homes. In some cases, we even have alternative ways to complete these parts of the process that don’t require entering the home.
We’ve made a slight adjustment to our rate lock process to accommodate shelter-in-place orders. Under normal circumstances, clients would lock their rate before underwriting begins. In areas where shelter-in-place orders are in effect, we can’t offer long rate locks because everything is changing so rapidly. If a client is in one of these areas, they’ll simply lock their rate closer to closing day.
What Clients Should ExpectTo make these precautionary measures as effective as possible, we need your and your clients’ support. When our appraiser or signing agent arrives, they are going to ask to maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet, and they will not shake hands. This isn’t because they’re unfriendly, it’s because they’re following CDC guidelines to maintain proper safety. They may even arrive wearing rubber gloves or a face mask as an added precaution. We respect their choice to do so, and ask that clients respect it as well.
Our appraiser or closing agent may even ask about the client’s health or recent international travel. We respect their privacy and don’t need any personal details, but if they think they may be sick, or if they’ve visited an area with active outbreaks, we ask that they please let us know and we’ll happily come back at another time.
We are eager to complete the mortgage process as quickly and easily as possible for your clients, but our primary commitment during this time is to keep our clients, our team members and our communities safe.
Thank you for your support and understanding.