Quick News Update:

Effective April 1, 2022, (though lenders can start using it early), Fannie Mae will no longer accept county records as the measurement for a home, and will use the standards from American National Standards Institute instead, which means they will be using the appraiser’s measurement. This will apply to financed properties in San Antonio under the current conforming loan limit of $647,200.

We have just advised our team that moving forward, if they notice a discrepancy in price, their first step is to compare the square footage on the appraisal with that in county records to see if they are missing any square footage. Appraisers are not always accurate in their measurements, and there’s a whole host of ways that square footage is easily overlooked, particularly if the appraiser is just using an external measurement. Our team is trained to look for missing square footage when we prep to list a property, so if you have a question about your appraisal or square footage, shoot us a note and we’ll see how we can help.

Fannie Mae is a government-backed entity that buys conforming loans, and is the third party insurer for VA loans (Ginnie Mae purchases the most VA loans), FHA, USDA, and conventional loans up to the local county limit (current standard: $647,200, but goes up to $970k in places like Hawaii). Fannie Mae represents a big portion of the secondary mortgage market, so expect the rest of the industry to follow suit over the next year.

The good – this sets a standard in appraisals
The bad – the appraiser may still not measure correctly
The ugly – there is no clear recourse established if the appraiser fails to respond to us if we try to correct the record on a size discrepancy

So, if you know that you are going to sell your house, and the county record shows a higher square footage than what your appraisal showed when you purchased the property (which is pretty common), send us a message so we can be pro-active about getting your particular situation cleared up. The more time, the better.

And to put all this in perspective for anyone considering selling their home, the median price per square foot in the greater San Antonio area is roughly $160, so overlooking the importance of analyzing a property’s size and potentially missing a mere 100SF could mean a loss of $16,000 to you at closing. The current median list price is $309,000, so $16,000 represents just over 5% of that price. When it’s time to sell, the more your agent knows, the better your results at closing!

Got questions? Shoot us a note!