The Importance of Accurate Appraisals and Fair Housing Practices in Real Estate

The Importance of Accurate Appraisals and Fair Housing Practices in Real Estate

Welcome to Real Estate Backstory, your weekly update for all the latest news, changes, and trends in the Atlanta real estate market and surrounding areas. This week, we have a packed episode filled with valuable insights and information to help you stay ahead of the curve. The following is a synopsis of the latest episode of “The Real Estate Backstory.” You can watch the video in its entirety below.

The Role of Photos in Appraisals

In the world of real estate, it is essential to understand the ever-changing appraisal market, which has seen a shortage of appraisers. As a result, many mortgage companies are turning to hybrid appraisals. Hybrid appraisals are similar to desktop appraisals but allow appraisers to use assistants to take photographs, and sometimes they do not even enter the properties. Therefore, the quality of the photographs used in these hybrid appraisals is crucial in determining the property’s value. It is crucial to ensure that high-quality photos are used for appraisals, as this can affect the property’s value, even if the house looks like the Taj Mahal.

Fair Housing Practices During Fair Housing Month

During Fair Housing Month, it is essential to understand and practice fair housing practices. While it is unlikely that anyone is intentionally violating fair housing rules, it is still easy to do so inadvertently. One area that raises concern is the use of coming soon listings, which can be perceived as being unfair. It is important to ensure that these listings are available to all classes of people, and descriptions should focus on the property’s characteristics rather than the people who may be inhabiting it. For example, one can describe a “Gourmet Kitchen” but not say “perfect for the chef.” It is also important to be careful when describing neighborhoods, schools, and their safety. One should avoid expressing personal opinions and instead point the consumers towards data sources and resources that can help them make their decisions.

Cautionary Tales on Buyer Love Letters

Another area where one must be cautious to avoid violating fair housing is love letters. While they may seem harmless, love letters often violate fair housing practices. Buyers’ love letters should be written carefully and avoid making any references to protected classes of people. The same rules apply when writing love letters as they do when writing any other document in real estate.

In conclusion, to avoid violating fair housing rules, it is crucial to be mindful of the way one presents the property, descriptions of neighborhoods and schools, and even love letters. Hybrid appraisals require high-quality photos to ensure accurate appraisals. By following these guidelines, one can ensure that their real estate practices are in compliance with the law and that all parties involved in a real estate transaction are treated fairly.

Watch the entire video for more information here:


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