Seth from Nebraska is frustrated. He started his VA refinance application over a month ago. Everything’s been set on Seth’s loan for a couple of weeks, but the appraisal is holding up the closing. His lender has had to reschedule twice now, with no definite date in sight. So, do some VA appraisals take longer than others?
The truth is, it’s not just VA appraisals. Conventional appraisals can get delayed, too. VA appraisals should take no longer than any other appraisal. But, sometimes things happen that are beyond anyone’s control. Here are some causes for appraisal delays:
- High volume of loans
- A shortage of VA-approved appraisers in the neighborhood
- Not enough comparable properties (comps)
High Volume Of Loans Can Cause VA Appraisal Delays
Tim Lewis, spokesperson for VA lender iFreedom Direct, says, “We recently experienced a high volume of VA refinance loans. As a result, we saw it could take longer for a licensed VA appraiser to complete an order in some areas.”
It’s true, when VA refinance loans are booming, the demand for VA appraisers goes up. Low interest rates naturally drive more borrowers to refinance.
Only A VA-Approved Appraiser Will Do
Once an application goes to the loan processing department, an appraisal is ordered. Once the order is received by the VA, it is sent to the next available VA-approved appraiser in the area. For the most part, the appraiser will handle jobs in the order they are received.
Though VA loan volume has increased, it doesn’t mean there are more VA-approved appraisers. Not all real estate appraisers are VA-approved. It takes special certification to be a VA appraiser. It may take some time for the supply to catch up with the demand.
Lack Of Comps Can Slow Down The VA Appraisal Process
Not enough comps may be one of the most common speed bumps in the VA appraisal process. Short sales and foreclosures can cause artificially low home values. Recent short sales and REO sales are not necessarily the comps an appraiser would use to determine fair market value for your home.
Another challenge is that in rural neighborhoods, no two homes are the same. Different acreages, multiple sheds and barns and even unusually large custom homes can create issues for rural appraisals. In some cases, the appraiser may need more time to piece together a fair property evaluation.
Tell Us About Your VA Appraisal Delays
If you’ve experienced VA appraisal delays, share your story. Please comment below. For more information on VA appraisals, contact an approved lender.