Category: AVM

Until Census Data is Made Illegal in Appraisals, There will Be Discrimination 5

Use of Census Data in AVM & Discrimination

Every single appraisal any of us do has a census tract number as a required element. There are no exceptions for federally regulated transactions. Even where no bias or prejudice is intended, language that the PC Police have ascribed as being ‘potentially racist, biased or prejudicial’ has long been prohibited. Buyers clearly do care and weight ‘neighborhood or school or special amenity neighborhoods’ in terms of ‘desirability’, but no appraiser can consider this. We are even prohibited from having people in pictures which could be indicative of race. It’s gotten so nuts that property owner’s own photos of religious icons,...

Zestimate vs Appraiser... Will Zestimates Put Appraisers Out of Business? 19

Will Big Data Put Appraisers Out of Business?

Part of the boom in the availability of data has led to companies such as Trulia and Zillow who claim they can “Zestimate” a home’s value instantaneously. But can your potential customers trust such value? In the old days, if a homeowner really wanted to find out how much their property was worth in the current market, they called an appraiser. Our customers understood that a licenced and qualified appraiser is trained, experienced, knowledgeable, and unbiased in his or her own marketplace. In the past few years, the Information Age has flooded us with data; lots of data. Big data...

AVM vs My Opinion - Armed Appraisers Can Beat AVMs Every Day 6

AVM vs My Opinion

AVM versus my opinion… My recent article “Why is Residential Appraisal in Trouble” lays out how the profession and the individual (you?) can prepare for the future. I do not take an emotional position for or against AVMs. AVM is a competing industry for valuations. AVMs have succeeded in taking a large market share for valuations and risk analysis in the past 20 years. Every large lender and our GSEs use them every day. And yes, a machine can only deliver an analytic result, not an opinion! My only mission (Stats, Graphs, and Data Science classes) is to help arm...

Professional Opinions Can Never Be Replaced By Automation 10

Professional Opinions Can Never Be Replaced

Professional OPINIONS have value that can never, repeat NEVER be replaced by automation… Earlier this week, George Dell‘s article titled “Why is Residential Appraisal in Trouble?” was published on AppraisersBlogs. Respectfully, George misses or misinterprets a few items. There has been zero evidence that an AVM produces credible approximations of MARKET VALUE consistently or with even an acceptable degree of variance. None. Like George indicates, an AVM is NOT an appraisal. By definition, it is not an appraisal. FIRREA required appraisal standards; NOT banking industry and TAF proposed alternatives. TAF is very far out of line giving AVMs any imprimatur...

Why is Residential Appraisal in trouble? Is Residential Appraisal Finished? 28

Why is Residential Appraisal in Trouble?

Why is Residential Appraisal in trouble? Is Residential Appraisal Finished?… There will soon be no need for residential appraisers. I remember years ago, doing education for my merging AIREA/SREA chapter(s) in San Diego. AVMs were just coming to our attention. I invited a MAI who happened to also be a PhD in economics, Phil Mitchell. The room was full. Someone asked about those “automated algorithmic computer calculated appraisals.” Could a canned program do as well as an appraiser? Without hesitation, he answered: “Not only will these models be able to appraise – they will do it better!” That was 24 years ago. He was right, partially. I...

Be Part of the Solution & Stop Being Part of the Problem! 27

Be Part of the Solution & Not the Problem!

Why would a professional licensed appraiser not want to be part of the solution? The Appraisal Foundation has posted the National Real Estate Appraiser Job Analysis Study. The survey is to determine the areas that are relevant to our daily functions as appraisers. This is our profession and appraisers are the best source of information on what we do and how we do it. The results will be used to determine the criteria necessary going forward for license examinations. We all have experienced revision requests from a reviewer who does not understand the appraisal process. What about those revision requests...

Are Technology Companies Selling Modern Version of a Pet Rock? 8

Technology Companies Selling You a Pet Rock

Are technology companies simply selling a modern day version of a Pet Rock? Technology companies flaunting their real estate valuation products show us lots of pretty color charts and graphs and sell us on their products. But what would happen if someone were to ask a simple question of these technology companies… How did you determine that value? Just imagine for a moment you are testifying in court and counsel asks you how you determined your opinion of value. The appraiser could answer that question without hesitation. Simply, you know what you did. Even follow up questions could be answered...

A Flipper Transaction - Appraisal vs AVMs... Are AVMs Reliable? 3

Appraisal vs AVMs

…the ‘flipper’ realized that the list and contract price was way too high… I just saw an article titled “Realor.com now providing third-party home valuations” about Realtor.com now using a ‘new’ service to provide a home value. Just for grins, I thought I’d do this essay using one of my recent assignments for the case study, which was in Bellingham, WA. The home was undergoing renovations by a ‘flipper’, and it had a signed contract for a high $$ amount. The report was written ‘subject to’ completion of the repairs/renovations. During the initial inspection, the ‘flipper’ was present and doing...

FIRREA Under Attack - Protecting Homeowners from Appraisal Loopholes 25

FIRREA Under Attack!

…the federal agencies charged with implementing Title XI of FIRREA have taken steps to limit the number of transactions for which an appraisal is required… Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman William Lacy Clay request a formal study/investigation into Title XI (FIRREA) and the recent dilution of its intent by the Federal Agencies. The letter to  Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office, addresses threshold increases, regulatory exemptions, appraisal waivers, the North Dakota appraiser certification waiver and evaluations in lieu of an appraisal. It is clear the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee and Subcommittee Chairman on Housing, Community Development and Insurance...

We Need Software which Enables & Empowers the Analyst... the Appraiser 7

What Skills Do I Need Now?

Analyst software focuses on analysis – sorting, classifying, comparing, and associating data to turn it into useful information… New technologies require new skills. The bad news is that new data science skills are not taught in appraiser education. The good news is that the new technologies are things an appraiser can sell. Let’s look at the good news! Data science skills include the ability to: Identify the relevant data. Turn the data into useful knowledge. Express the analytic flow to a customer. Who can best collect, analyze, and explain an analysis? Well, it takes someone who understands the subject (the market), the analytics (algorithms), and communication (visuals and summaries).  Machines...

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