The Future of Property Appraisal: Unveiling the UAD Redesign and New URAR

The Future of Property Appraisal: Unveiling the UAD Redesign and New URAR


The winds of change are blowing through the appraisal industry. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have jointly unveiled an ambitious overhaul of the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) to modernize and streamline the appraisal reporting process. This new URAR aims to replace outdated, siloed forms and static reporting with a seamless, dynamic approach.

As an appraiser, how will the UAD redesign and new URAR impact your workflow? At the recent Valuation Expo conference in Las Vegas, Heather Sullivan (Aloft), Ken Defeo (Fannie Mae), and Sean Murphy (Freddie Mac) provided a peek at some of the upcoming changes.

Here’s a look at some of what’s changing and why it matters.

What’s in the new UAD and new URAR?

Out with the old forms

The updated UAD and URAR retires the familiar lineup of individual appraisal forms (1004, 1073, 2055) for each property type. In its place arrives one flexible, intelligent form: the new Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR). The new URAR dynamically adapts based on the property characteristics entered by the appraiser. This eliminates the need to select the correct specialized form upfront.

The new URAR features conditional sections and fields that expand or contract based on inputting data. For instance, indicating a condo unit prompts questions specifically about that project. The report acts like an intuitive questionnaire, prompting only relevant follow-up questions.

Enhanced property data collection

With the updated report, appraisers can capture more granular details on the home. The condition of each room can be reported individually, noting updates, flooring, appliances, and more. This allows a more complete understanding of interior quality and condition.

Exterior details are also collected in a more robust manner. Beyond general descriptors, specifics can be shared on garages, pools, sheds, and other structures. Ratings are now separated for the interior and exterior. Photos, site maps, or floor plans can also be easily attached.

Integrated commentary

Gone are the days of vague references to some addendum page that the reader has to hunt down. The future is here, and it includes commentary space directly within each relevant section. Appraisers can provide their insights right next to the data, photos, maps, or figures it refers to.

This integrated approach enhances the narrative flow for readers and reviewers. No more flipping back and forth between pages. By embedding explanations alongside supporting data, reports gain clarity.

Dynamic summaries and comparisons

The new UAD opens reports with digestible summaries of key details. This allows stakeholders to grasp crucial information quickly. The sales grid also dynamically adapts to emphasize the most useful comparative details between the subject property and comparables. This makes similarities and differences more transparent at a glance.

Streamlined certifications

Certifications have been reduced and consolidated to simplify this process for appraisers. New data points have also been added, such as prior services on the property and local price trend metrics. This aims to enhance the accuracy and completeness of reports.

Ongoing support for smooth adoption

The UAD redesign and new URAR represent an evolutionary step forward. Training resources will be available to support appraisers during this transition.

The future of appraisal reporting

While change can be daunting, this overhaul provides appraisers an exciting opportunity to deliver more streamlined, transparent, and data-rich reports. By embracing this shift, appraisers can focus on providing insights rather than churning through paperwork. This next-generation reporting structure paves the way for excellence in valuation services now and in the future.

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Written by Kevin Hecht. Kevin has been a real estate appraiser since 1987, and currently holds a Certified Residential appraiser license in Missouri. As a McKissock Learning instructor, Kevin specializes in market analysis, USPAP, and real estate economics. In addition to being an appraiser, Kevin is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Maryville University.