Carlette Duffy said her home in Indianapolis increased by more than $100,000 after she removed any signs from the property that she might be black and claimed her friend was the owner instead.
Speaking to CBS 4, Duffy said she took down items such as family photographs and ethnic artwork before the appraisal.
When the valuation came back, she said she was “so angry”.
Duffy decided to try the experiment after she was told in two initial appraisals that the house was worth the same amount as what she paid in 2017.
In response to the valuation from the third appraisal, Duffy filed a housing discrimination complaint with local government, seeking an investigation into why her home’s re-appraisal increased in value. She told CBS she hoped her case would act as a catalyst to ensure others are treated fairly in the future.
“I’m doing this for my daughter, I’m doing this for my granddaughter, so that when they come against obstacles they will know that you can stand up, you can say ‘this is not right’,” she said.
In a statement responding to the story, The Appraisal Institute – an umbrella group of appraisers in the US said: “When we see even one story of a consumer who feels they were treated differently because of their race it’s very concerning because that goes against everything we stand for.
“We believe that overwhelmingly, there are more good people in this world than bad, including in the appraisal profession – and that today, more than ever, people are committed to listening, learning and changing. That said, it is widely accepted that unconscious bias is real, and no profession is immune from that.”
They called on others with similar experiences to come forward.