Remote appraisals of homes could reduce racial bias

Source: Debra Kamin, N.Y.Times (Paid Registration)

The majority of appraisals on home purchases in the United States can now be conducted without an appraiser ever stepping foot into the home — a move that some lawmakers and real estate professionals say could address pervasive racism against Black homeowners in the appraisal industry.

In recent years, studies have shown that appraisers often undervalue homes, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars, when the homeowner is Black or Latino. The remote desktop appraisal, in which an appraiser never meets a homeowner or has an opportunity to see their family portraits on the wall, could serve as a remedy. The move went into effect on Saturday.

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