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Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) sent a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting-Director Sandra Thompson urging her to reform the regulation of home appraisers in an effort to address growing backlogs in the homebuying process. 

“Over the past 12 years, we have seen a 20% to 25% decline in the number of registered appraisers, causing homebuyers to face increasing wait times and inflated prices when seeking a home appraisal,” said Emmer. 

“Americans deserve the opportunity to buy a home without hidden costs. The FHFA should use their authority to update and improve the regulations pertaining to the appraiser industry in order to encourage more entrants into the profession, eliminate additional costs on homebuyers, and ultimately strengthen our economy,” Emmer concluded. 

Under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has regulatory authority over the appraisal process. Representative Emmer’s letter called on FHFA to consider the following reforms: 

  • Review the current efficacy of appraisal management company models, which often serve as unnecessary middlemen in the appraisal process and can drive-up costs for consumers.
  • Further evaluate alternatives to the traditional appraisal, including when and how automated valuations models (AVM), hybrid appraisals, desktop appraisals, and other valuation products could be used without causing undue harm to the stability of the real estate market.
  • Reassess the current minimum educational and professional standards for appraisers, such as the requirement appraisers hold a college degree, and suggest qualification alternatives to ensure the industry maintains necessary standards without imposing unnecessary barriers for new professional entrants.

Read the letter here.