VA appraisals

VA Appraisal Timeliness and Required Corrections: A VA Loan Reader Question

June 27, 2012

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VA Appraisal Timeliness and Required Corrections: A VA Loan Reader Question

A reader asks, “We had a VA appraisal performed on the home that we are purchasing with a VA loan. However, the VA appraiser is not providing anyone with some corrections that need to be performed. The bank tells us that they are not permitted to talk with him. So who is the appraiser permitted to provide these corrections to? It has been two weeks and he the VA appraiser is not being compliant. How do we find out what corrections need to be done in order to move forward on the purchase of our home?”

VA appraisals don’t necessarily have a single, set time limit for completion. In its instructions for VA fee appraisers, VA Regional Loan Center in Denver, Colorado states the following:

“Fee appraisers must complete VA assignments as quickly as appraisals for conventional loans are completed in the area where the property is located. An exception may be allowed in a particular case if:

  1. Valid extenuating circumstances are documented, and
  2. The appraiser notifies VA (or the lender’s staff appraisal reviewer (SAR) in LAPP cases).

VA offices will consider adding appraisers to the fee panel in areas where timeliness of VA appraisals has been a consistent problem.”

The appraiser will list any required corrections in the appraisal report–that information is passed on to the buyer when the report has been reviewed by what the VA calls a Staff Appraisal Reviewer (SAR). Can the buyer or lender contact the VA appraiser in the meantime? Here’s what the Colorado VA Regional Loan Center appraiser guide says:

“Fee appraisers may not discuss valuation, conditions, or any other issues relating to the contents of their completed appraisal reports with anyone except VA staff or the SAR.” The guide also adds the following–remember, these are the direct instructions from the Department of Veterans Affairs to the VA assigned fee appraiser:

“Any party of interest may contact fee appraisers only to inquire about the status of the assignment and the expected time frame for completion. If one of these other parties attempts to engage you in a discussion of the appraisal contents, you should politely decline to discuss the report and refer them to the LAPP SAR or to VA. There are two partial exceptions to this rule:

Once the appraisal report has been uploaded to e-Appraisals, and the NOV issued, the Lenders Handbook permits any party of interest to request a reconsideration of value from the fee appraiser. While such requests should go through the lender on LAPP cases or through the VA on non-LAPP cases, you might on occasion be contacted directly. In that event, you should politely explain the reconsideration of value process can be coordinated best and most efficiently through the lender or VA. The Lenders Handbook does, in fact, require the issue to be handled in that manner.

Parties of interest other than the SAR may contact fee appraisers for clarification of repair requirements and/or to schedule repair inspections. You should cooperate on such requests.”

Any borrower with concerns or complaints should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly at 1-800-827-1000 to get advice on how to proceed in cases where the VA appraisal doesn’t meet VA timeliness guidelines or other issues.

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