Tuesday, October 3, 2023 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

The Times They Are A-Changin’ for Appraisal Reports

This information and more will be unveiled at the Valuation Expo on August 7-9 in Las Vegas, NV. You won’t want to miss this exclusive access to new information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac themselves. Register today!

This article is featured in the 2023 edition of the Appraisal Buzz Magazine. Some other features we have in our magazine include funny Buzztoon comics, as well as crazy stories from appraisers and readers like you! Read all these articles and more in the latest edition HERE. If you want to make sure you are receiving the print version of the Appraisal Buzz magazine in your mailbox, sign up HERE.


For the times they are a-changin.’” – Bob Dylan


Changes are coming to appraisal reports with the redesigned Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The updates will impact how appraisers assemble their report – but not how they analyze the information and develop a value opinion. Let’s look at what’s not changing and what is changing.

What’s not changing? 

The UAD update will not change the core role of an appraiser: to complete research and analysis necessary to develop a credible opinion of value. 

What’s changing? 

You’ll be able to produce a more objective report that offers your clients a more logical flow of information. The big differences with the redesigned UAD will be how information is compiled and assembled into the report output. Veteran appraisers will say goodbye to a few old “friends.”

Say goodbye to:

  • Picking the right report form based on property type.
  • All forms … which were designed for typewriters.
  • “See addenda.”
  • Abbreviations and encrypted language like “CtyStr,” “LtdSght,” “CrtOrd,” “Lndfl,” “AT2;IntTwnhse,” “1rr1br1.0ba2o,” and “1ga1gd1gbi1cp2dw.”

Say hello to:

  • A dynamic, easier-to-read appraisal report. 
  • Placing your commentary with the relevant property information, instead of burying it in an obscurely referenced addendum.
  • Data inputs to help appraisers better define property characteristics such as outbuildings, additional units, site influences, and energy-efficient and green features.
  • A higher degree of clarity and standardization of the information that will be used to drive risk analytics and underwriting decisions.
  • Removing subjectivity with more consistent and objective terminology.
  • Identifying USPAP compliance points more easily.


The New Uniform Residential Appraisal Report

The new, dynamic Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR) is packed with great features for appraisers, appraisal management companies (AMCs), mortgage lenders, and borrowers. The appraiser’s input will drive the output, including only relevant information—there will be no empty checkboxes or irrelevant fields. 

Standardized data with additional inputs will allow appraisers to better describe the property, providing a more holistic view and greater understanding of the property characteristics. And the UAD update provides flexibility, allowing the URAR to be more easily adapted to address current and future industry-wide needs.

UAD Redesign Implementation

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released technical specs and other implementation resources in late March—they can be viewed at fanniemae.com/uad or sf.freddiemac.com/uad

Going to Val Expo in August (Las Vegas)? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will present a detailed UAD session for CE credit, and we’ll have a meeting room where Val Expo attendees can stop by to ask questions, see sample URARs, and more. 


What to Know

Here is a look at some of the most important things for appraisers, AMCs, and appraisal report readers to know. 

Conditionality. Entered information will trigger prompts for additional, relevant information. For example, if the property type is entered as condo, the appraiser will be asked for information specific to condos, such as about the project where the unit is located.

New fields. New data will support the UAD’s more dynamic approach, replacing forms with a single output report that will cover Single Family, Condominium, Cooperative, Manufactured Home, and 2- to 4-unit property types, and the Appraisal Update and Completion Report.

New Summary Page 

The summary page provides key information about the property and sets up the narrative flow for the rest of the report. 

Dynamic Sales Grid

The dynamic sales grid will show subject and comparable information in an easy-to-digest format. Now more specific to the subject property, the dynamic grid will help the appraiser craft a clearer picture of the comparables. The expanded grid allows the reader to understand the comparables as they relate to the subject without going to an addendum to understand the differences. Discrete data in the grid can also be used for further analysis in a comprehensive and accessible manner. 

Comment Space with Each Section

Never again will appraisers enter “see addenda,” because there will be comment space with every section or field. The URAR will display the appraiser’s commentary with the relevant data and information. 

Prompts for Details

Based on information entered by the appraiser, there can be relevant prompts for more information. For example, indicating the property has an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) will then prompt the appraiser for required information about the rental legality and use of the unit.

Quality and Condition Ratings 

The quality and condition will be reported for the interior and exterior individually, then reported as the whole. This will help when one rating is different from the other. Commentary must be provided.

For the property interior, the appraiser will be able to input specifics based on factors including the kitchen and bath(s), update status and when last updated, flooring, walls, and ceilings. This detail will provide more objectivity. Commentary can also be provided about the interior quality and condition.

For the exterior, the appraiser will also provide details and commentary.


Highest and Best Use 

Information will be captured to support highest and best use of the property.


Prior Sales and Transfers

The URAR will capture details of prior sales and transfers for both the subject and comparables.

Prior Services 

The Prior Services section will move into the Certifications. The appraiser will select what applies.

Changes add up to appraiser benefits.

Are you ready for the new URAR? Appraisers will have plenty of training opportunities to help them get up to speed and take advantage of the many benefits, including:

  • The new URAR will make it easier for a reader to identify elements of the appraisal not easily found in current addenda, which has the potential to cut down on revision requests.
  • The easy-to-read-and-understand URAR will enhance credibility for the appraiser’s work.
  • Appraisal software vendors will be able to help save appraisers time with data imports not available today.


What’s next?

Activities through the rest of 2023 and during 2024 will include software development, system updates and testing, and the kick-off of training for appraisers, AMCs, and mortgage lenders. Appraiser training opportunities include in-person and online courses for CE credit as well as webinars and other informational sessions.

Check our websites regularly fanniemae.com/uad or sf.freddiemac.com/uad for updates, and see us at industry conferences. 

Jim Morrison

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