Essential Services Update

To All Members: 

We are seeing across the country Provincial Governments and Health Authorities release lists and orders that outline essential services. Effective today the Province of Manitoba released the following: 

https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/proactive/2019_2020/orders-soe-03302020.pdf 

As with other provincial guidelines Real Estate Services are included as essential service, please refer to number 66 of the Schedule included in the order from the Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living. 

Despite being listed as an essential service all Physical / Social Distancing protocols should be adhered to to protect the safety and health of homeowners, appraisers and their families. We continue to stress that the risk of coming in contact with someone that has COVID-19 or unknowingly passing it on to a homeowner can be devastating to the appraiser, their clients, and the industry as a whole. As such, appraisers should refrain from entering homes to obtain interior information. 

We recognize that information and protocols are changing rapidly and that staying on top of things can be extremely difficult. The Small Business Help Centre at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business website is one resource that we have found to be excellent. It offers FAQs, Government Sources of Relief and Support (by province), Public Health Information (by province), and Co-Vid warning and notice templates. The link is below: 

 https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/small-business-resources-dealing-covid-19     

We will continue to pass along information that we think will be helpful to you and your business during these challenging times. Please stay safe and healthy.      

LTV Comments in Appraisal Reports

To all Members: 

There has been a recent communique sent to appraisers with respect to comments regarding Loan-To-Value Statements/Comments in appraisal reports, particularly in those situations where there has been no interior viewing of the subject property. 

We would like to remind ALL CNAREA Members that comments with respect to LTV are the responsibility of the lenders, NOT the appraisers.  LTV is not an appraisal concept, nor the appraisers’ responsibility. 

Being requested to complete a Market Value Opinion appraisal report is not influenced nor reflective of any LTV discussion.  

CNAREA Members are reminded that there should not be ANY comments pertaining to LTV within your appraisal reports, comments to clients, or their representatives. 

 If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.  

Rob MacDonald 

DAC-ASA/Certified Appraisal Reviewer 

 

CEO – CNAREA 

CoVid-19 Awareness Update #10

To all members:

Provinces continue to take increased and ongoing measures with the Government of B.C. following other provinces in issuing a list of essential services on Friday afternoon. As in the cases of Ontario and Quebec appraisers were not specifically listed. In Ontario we did confirm with the Premier’s office that appraisers were included in Banking and related activities. When B.C. posted its essential services list Friday afternoon, we made a number of inquiries and it is our understanding the situation in B.C. is similar to Ontario, that appraisers are included in Banking and credit granting services.

Despite the above we note the following paragraph included in the B.C. announcement:

The PHO has ordered some types of businesses to close. Any business or service that has not been ordered to close, and is also not identified on the essential service list, may stay open if it can adapt its services and workplace to the orders and recommendations of the PHO.

In other words, ensure you are strictly adhering to “Physical Distancing” protocols as recommended by the Public Health Officer.

RECA has announced that the Alberta Appraisers are on the Essential Services List, and as such are able to continue to work, but must also follow “Physical Distancing” protocols, and other guidelines as set out by Alberta Health Ministry and Health Canada.

We have heard of instances from across the country of appraisers that are operating business as usual and entering homes. Banks, mortgage lenders and other stakeholders have stated that just as much as appraisers do not want to enter homes, homeowners do not want appraisers walking through their homes. The risk of being exposed to COVID-19, or even worse inadvertently exposing the home owner can be devastating to the appraiser and the industry as a whole. We are also aware of one or two lenders that still expect the appraiser to complete a full report with interior inspection. CNAREA finds this unacceptable and as such we are explicitly stating that members are not to enter homes until Federal and Provincial governments and health authorities relax physical distancing protocols. If members receive requests that do not comply with Physical Distancing, please contact the CNAREA office with details and we will deal with those involved accordingly.

Appraisers play a vital role in ensuring Canadians obtain credit facilities that will help them or their businesses get through these challenging times but not at the expense of health and safety. Both associations, banks, AMC’s, mortgage lenders, mortgage insurers, regulators and other stakeholders have all stated that the health and safety of clients, homeowners, tenants etc., and appraisers is first and foremost. The market place has adjusted to accepting full appraisals that do not include the inspection of the interior of a home by the appraiser which means that the appraiser should be looking at alternative methods of obtaining this information; please refer to previous announcements for details.

We are continuing to remind members that no matter the report format, “Modified” Full Report, Drive-By or Desktop, you are providing an opinion of value and are taking on as much, if not more risk, and are advised to guide yourselves accordingly. We also expect that appraisers will be receiving requests from lenders that they have either not heard of or have not worked for and as such we are recommending that members take the time to become familiar with these potential clients…Know Your Client.

Please ensure you, your families, and your clients remain safe and healthy. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us at 888.399.3366.

2020-2021 Membership & Insurance Renewal Announcement

To all Members:

We have some news to pass along to all members with respect to Membership and Insurance Renewals for the 2020-2021 Membership Year.

Although due to a number of claims against our insurance program which resulted in significant payouts, we have had to increase the Insurance Premiums for the 2020-2021 Coverage Year across the board by 10%, we are thankful to Sovereign General for their continued support of the CNAREA E&O Program.

We have been working with our Insurance partners, ProLink and Sovereign General to seek out ways to ease some pressure on our members with respect to our upcoming annual renewals, and I am excited to announce that we have two temporary programs for the upcoming Membership Year.

First, with respect to Membership Fees, I am very excited to tell you that we have not increased the Membership Fees for the upcoming year, and we are now offering a great new payment plan option for you.  There are two choices now available to Designated Members and Candidate Members.

  1. Pay your regular Membership Payment, due by May 1, in full as usual or,
  2. Choose to pay your Membership Fees in 3 equal installments:
  • May 1                $325
  • July 31              $325
  • September 30 $325

As you can see there is an increased cost if you choose to use the deferred payment option, but this is to offset the administrative costs associated with this option.  Associate Members or Retired Members will be required to pay their renewals in full by May 1, 2020.

Secondly, I am very excited to announce that our Insurance Partners at ProLink and Sovereign General have stepped up to help as well.  So, for the first time, and as a temporary measure, ProLink is offering a Quarterly Payment Plan for your E&O Insurance Coverage.

Quarterly Payment terms on your credit card will be as follows:

  • 25% to be paid on the date of renewal
  • 25% to be paid on August 31, 2020
  • 25% to be paid on November 30, 2020
  • 25% to be paid on February 28, 2021

ProLink has agreed to charge a very minimal financing rate of only 1.75% if you choose the Quarterly Payment Program.  You will still have the option to pay your full premium if you wish.  The two payment options will be available on the ProLink Renewal Portal coming up in April.

We are VERY appreciative of our Partners at ProLink and Sovereign General for their continued support of our membership and helping us alleviate some of the financial pressure on our Members in these challenging times.

Membership renewal options will be available at cnarea.ca beginning Monday March 31, 2020 and the Insurance Renewal Program will be active on Tuesday April 14, 2020.  You will receive a renewal notice email from ProLink as in the last 2 years, which will direct you to the ProLink Portal where you can select your coverages, payment plans, etc.

Let’s work hard to supply much needed appraisal reports to our clients, stay safe and stay healthy.  Planning for our Convention and AGM is still going ahead, and we are hoping to have a big celebration together when this season is over!

Thank you for your continued support of our Association!

Rob MacDonald

DAC-ASA

Certified Appraisal Reviewer

Chief Executive Officer

Canadian National Association of Real Estate Appraisers.

CoVid-19 Awareness Update #8 – Essential Services

As of midnight tonight, Tuesday March 24, 2020, both Ontario and Quebec have introduced restrictions on activities and have created Lists of Essential Workplaces. (Ontario List of Essential Workplaces) (Quebec List of Essential Workplaces).

It is our understanding that appraisers are part of the essential services provided by the banking industry. In the Ontario List of Essential Workplaces, Section #31 – Banking & Activities related to Credit Intermediation, and the Quebec Listing for Banking and Financial Services lists, in part: “services related to financial markets,” would include the appraisal of real property for lending purposes.

We want to reiterate our caution to appraisers that contact with occupants of a dwelling, etc. is to be totally avoided, and interior inspections of properties should not be carried out.

The major national lenders have adopted this policy and understand the increased risk to the appraisers, as well as to the occupants if interior inspections were carried out. Please ensure that you comply with all requirements of the USPAP, keep your clients’ informed, and update AMC Portals on a regular basis as has been communicated to you by the various AMCs.

While the office staff are working from home, we are all receiving emails and phone calls at our usual numbers. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.