Are you stressed? Do you know anyone who is not stressed? Is it your business, your health, your finances, your children, your children’s school situation…should I go on?

In a time when so many people are buying houses, getting a mortgage can be stressful. That stress rises with every delay caused by underwriters, clients, misinformation, inspectors and, now overwhelmingly, appraisers. Have I left out any facet of the mortgage business? Ok, I will end this rant.

But I do need to give you a little more info about the current condition of the almighty appraisal that pretty much determines the outcome of your loan. That’s right……. you as the client and I as your mortgage originator could have aced every detail of the loan process and yet when we arrive at the determinant crossroad known as the appraisal we must stop and wait, hope, breathe and succumb to stress.

I want you to understand how the appraisal process works, so I am going to use examples to detail what’s happening in the appraisal world that has caused slowdowns in the completion of mortgage loans.

Appraisers have the same lockdown lifestyle as we all have, working from home, with heightened stress levels. One appraiser said entering a home for appraisal can be very uncomfortable now for fear of exposure to the Covid virus. On the other hand, homeowners express the fear that an appraiser may carry the virus into their home. Some homeowners have requested drive-by appraisals which, as we all know, are ineffective. Both of these reactions by appraisers and homebuyers slow the process of completing the mortgage loan approval.

The appraisal process is predicted to improve rapidly. The solution and change are upon us. April is already showing an improvement in production over April of last year. As employees in all facets of the mortgage world move from working remotely to full office function, the delays will lessen and normal origination, processing and closing times will return to normal.

Homebuyers, anxious to close their loans and move in to their new homes, are stressed and show it in their communications. On the phone they complain these delays are not fair to them……and they’re right! One client loved to quote, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and then screamed that she was being deprived of this right. The mortgage industry understands and is working every day to get back to normal.

I don’t want to leave you feeling hopelessly stressed about obtaining a mortgage loan. We make it work every day for clients who understand that patience and cooperation are necessary to realize their dream of home ownership. That stress is manageable with an educated understanding of the process. I hope I have helped.

Jim Gay was a real estate broker for 20 years and has been a consultant to Fortune 500 companies. He is currently President of The Mortgage Place, Inc. and can be reached at 986-9080 or

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