Black Homeowners Used “Whitewashing” Method To Sell House, Received $92K More Than Original Appraisal

Black Homeowners Used “Whitewashing” Method To Sell House, Received $92K More Than Original Appraisal

A Black family from Ohio was looking to get the best value for their home during an appraisal process. CNN reports when their original appraisal came back $60,000 short, the Parkers knew something was off.

Erica Parker and her husband took a different approach to get the desired value of their house. “Whitewashing” is defined as “altering something in a way that favors, features, or caters to white people.” So they removed all items from the home that could result as they identifying as Black, like artwork and family photos, and replaced them with photos and memorabilia borrowed from a White neighbor.

“It was a weird feeling but we felt vindicated,” Parker said. “We were like, ‘Oh my God, we really were discriminated against.’” Clearly, they stood corrected in their efforts, receiving an appraisal for close to $92,000 more than the first.

While this family came out victorious, unfortunately, this approach is normal for Black homeowners nationwide. Laster year a couple from Baltimore experienced similar discrimination. Their home appraisal went from $472,000 to $750,000 after they allowed a white male colleague to stand in for them as a second appraisal was conducted.

Data from the Brookings Institute show that homes in Black neighborhoods are valued 23% less than homes located in non-Black neighborhoods, regardless of any differences in quality and amenities. Many advocates claim this problem is a wealth gap issue but others profess it’s more than that.

“Our concern is that there aren’t enough Black appraisers in the business,” president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Lydia Pope, said. “We just want to make a stand that we have to change the culture of appraising.”

Pope has called whitewashing “appalling,” but this issue has received national attention from President Joe Biden himself.

In March, the Biden administration launched the Action Plan to Advance Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity, or PAVE, to promote equity in the home appraisal process. Their efforts are set to assist Federal Housing Administration borrowers in understanding the right way to request a “Reconsideration of Value” if they suspect bias in their appraisal.