From our esteemed guest blogger, Tasha Linton, of Atlantic Home Equity Mortgage, more details about the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), enacted May 1, 2009, and how it is negatively affecting home sales.


As we all know, the recent implementation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) has caused many issues in a housing market already on thin ice. Evidence since the policy went into effect on May 1st indicate that the Appraisal Management Companies are assigning the appraisals to the lowest-cost appraisers, who oftentimes have little to no understanding of the local market. The immediate result is vast number of appraisals coming in way under their true valuation, causing the loan to die and the buyers lose the home.
Finally, someone is standing up to stop this. Think Big Work Small has launched a petition that already has 35,000 signatures. The goal is to have at least 100,000 signatures by July 30th and the petition will be hand delivered to NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (the creator of the HVCC policy).
Please sign the petition at to help reverse this ridiculous new policy!!


Here is the actual verbiage in the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. There are many concerns, as local, honest, fair and experience appraisers are being put out of business, and the AMC is collecting 40% as a referral fee — requiring the HOMEBUYER to pay MORE for an appraisal on any given property if they are using Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for their loan.

The other issue that is coming up is that before the HVCC, an appraisal from one company could transfer to another mortgage company. Meaning, if a buyer wanted to switch lenders, they could fairly easily. NOW, that buyer must pay for a SECOND appraisal on the same property — at the inflated rate!

RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) lawyer, Marx Sterbcow, wrote an article that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s “Interagency Appraisal Evaluation Guidelines” will most likely top the HVCC, which is what we can all hope and wish for. 

What does this mean for you, the Towson Homebuyer or Towson Homeseller? Appraisal values are coming in low because the AMC appraisers are not local and do not understand local markets. For homebuyers, if you change your mortgage company, you will have to pay for a new appraisal.

So far, a lose-lose situation for everyone in the real estate marketplace.