There is a petition and a letter being circulated about appraisers getting access to CU, particularly the Web interface which lists comps. This is unlikely for many reasons, which I write about in my paid newsletter.
More important (and more likely to occur) is: Why don’t appraisers get access to subject and comp physical characteristics from the CU database, which was provided by appraisers using UAD?
For example, which appraisers are able to measure their comp GLAs? Not many. This data would really help appraisers do better appraisals. We can always look at MLS interior photos and interview agents, buyers, and sellers for other information we need, such as condition. When the MLS listing says “contractor special” or “fixer” that is a good indicator of condition.
The only reason I have heard is that appraisers vary widely and there are too many differences. GLA is a good example. This has has always varied among appraisers. When I used the old CMDC appraiser database in the late 1980s, sometimes there were more than one source of GLA on a property. I have done relocation appraisals since 1986. It was very seldom that the 2 or 3 appraisers have the same GLA. The “rule of thumb” was up to a 5% difference in GLA was ok.
How many appraisers are “fudging” their dimensions to make their GLA match public records and avoid “stips”? Hopefully, CU will change this. Maybe CU will notice how many appraisers just use public records and how many use their own measurements.
I am really hoping that Fannie allows appraisers to get property characteristic information. It will help all of us – Fannie, lenders, AMCs, appraisers, reviewers, etc.