Chapter Members,

I was contacted by a peer who shared that their firm is reaching out to Governor Inslee in the event that a mandatory “shelter in place” or "limited/no travel” decree be implemented. Their goal is to allow for our profession to continue to work while respecting social distancing. 

The thought is that with the lower interest rates and amount of government work that we are all trying to do – it would be helpful if we reach out to other appraisal firms to send a similar letter to join in the request.

A copy of a sample letter that will be sent is below for your reference. Please feel free to share it with others so that they may also reach out to Gov. Inslee or his representatives.  

My peer is reaching out to lenders and brokers to see if they would also reach out to Gov. Inslee as I am sure everyone would want to see their loans go through in a timely manner so that they can keep the income stream moving forward.

We are working on a resource page on the ai-seattle.org website that will provide information like this, as well as Chapter news and local links that we have found helpful in navigating the current ever changing situation.

Stan Sidor
President |Seattle Chapter Appraisal Institute


SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Governor Inslee,

First of all, I want to thank you for your leadership and that of your team during this trying time for our State. I am one of the owners of a real estate appraisal firm located in the Tacoma area. In addition to myself and the two other owners (who are also active real estate appraisers), our firm includes seven additional associate appraisers and two administrative staff members. Our clients include numerous lending institutions, State, County and local jurisdictions, state-funded conservation groups and various individuals in need of property valuation services.

Given the new reality that we are currently living with, if some form of “shelter in place” or “limited/no travel” order is enacted, I would like to respectfully request that professionals completing services such as our firm be given latitude to still be able to perform certain portions of our job that require some level of travel. Appraisal assignments typically include driving to a property to inspect it (which can often be completed from the exterior only) as well as driving to take exterior photographs of comparable sale properties utilized in our reports as part of determining market value. The remainder of our duties can generally be completed from a desk, and all of our appraisers have remote computer access which allows them to do many of their tasks from home.

Based on what I have been hearing from individuals in different sectors of the real estate profession, our services are in high demand right now, as evidenced by the fact that our firm has still been receiving numerous requests for services from many of our clients, primarily lending institutions but also other organizations, including State agencies in need of appraisal services. Refinancing activity is still occurring, which may become even more prevalent with recent decreases to key interest rates. If we are unable to carry out the limited components of our work that require driving (but that can also be completed safely and in many instances with limited contact with others), it would not only hurt our profession and our team members, but would also negatively impact the ability of lending institutions and other clients to continue to do their work. While our particular firm represents only a small number of individuals, all of whom are dependent on being able to complete appraisal assignments to keep income coming in to support their respective families, I know that there are many other companies who are in the same boat. Further, our little cog in the real estate world impacts many other firms and organizations. In this time of fiscal uncertainty, I believe that allowing appraisers to be able to safely perform those limited duties that need to be completed outside of the home/office in a safe and conscientious manner would help a large part of the economy moving ahead as we look toward getting out of our current situation.

Respectfully Submitted,