Bias Has No Home in Appraisals

By MNR News posted 08-24-2021 06:36


illustration of a black couple being chased away from a home for sale, appraisal document in the backgroundThe national conversation on race and discrimination has included the role real estate has played – from redlining and steering from real estate agents to mortgage rejections from loan officers. Included in the conversation is the role appraisals have played in how property is valued.

The Appraisal Foundation’s Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) prohibits appraisers from advocating for the cause or interest of any party or issue. The USPAP also states appraisers must not perform an assignment with bias.

Additionally, many (not all) appraisers are members of the National Association of Realtors®, and must adhere to its Code of Ethics, including Article 10, which prohibits discrimination in professional service.

As the conversation on race and discrimination continues, the appraisal industry is taking a hard look inward, and working to improve the profession and gain the public’s trust that it’s addressing the problem. Here are some of the efforts being made:

  • The Appraisal Foundation created a subcommittee two years ago, the Special Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, to promote diversity in the valuation profession.
  • Last year, The Appraisal Foundation co-sponsored a 2-day symposium on fair housing, bias, and discrimination.
  • The 7-hour National USPAP Update course is expected to include a significant segment on fair housing, bias, and discrimination.
  • The Appraisal Standards Board released an advisory opinion on Fair Housing laws, which is currently under comment review.
  • NAR’s Real Property Valuation Committee is examining allegations on bias in real property appraisal, successfully engaging more diverse practitioners, and encouraging a study to assess the prevalence of bias.

Read this full article by Dawn M. Molitor-Gennrich and Francois K. Gregoire at Realtor® Magazine.