This Black History Month, let’s highlight issues like bias in appraisal.
Black History Month is a time to reflect on the ongoing fight against racial injustice and to bring attention to important issues in our society. One such issue is the persistent problem of bias in the real estate industry, particularly when it comes to appraisers.
Studies have shown that black families often have their homes appraised at substantially lower values than similar homes owned by white families. In one case in Maryland, a home was appraised at 60% below its actual market value. To illustrate the problem, the homeowners removed all photos of themselves, a practice known as "whitewashing a home," and replaced them with pictures of a white family. The home was then reappraised and its value increased by $300,000, or 60%.
The root cause of this problem is the lack of diversity in the appraisal industry. According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, appraisers are the least diverse of any profession, with 97% of appraisers being white.
The solution to this problem is to increase diversity in the appraisal industry through education and outreach. We need more diverse appraisers who can bring a variety of perspectives and experiences to their work and help to eliminate biases.
In conclusion, Black History Month is a time to bring attention to important issues like bias in the real estate industry. The lack of diversity among appraisers is a significant contributor to the problem of biased appraisals and it is essential that we take steps to increase diversity and eliminate these biases.
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