Tagged: valuation technology

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...

The Greatest Recession - The Hesitance to Accept Modified Appraisals 18

The Greatest Recession

The Greatest Recession is now spreading across the US. The investor’s hesitance to accept modified appraisals without interior inspections will prevent the real estate market from leading this country out of “The Greatest Recession” now spreading across the US… Appraisers provide an essential financial service according to the verbiage I’ve read from The Department of Homeland Security and various sources. We are exempt from “stay at home” orders. The State of Colorado has defined appraisal services and appraisers as providing an essential financial and professional service. Colorado says that appraisers are exempt from stay at home orders. An abundance of...

Zillow in Crosshairs - Zillow Has the Most Flawed Business Models 8

Zillow in Crosshairs

Steve Eisman, the hedge-fund manager famous for betting against the US housing market in 2008 explains why he is shorting online real estate company Zillow. “I would say Zillow has one of the most flawed business models I’ve seen in a very, very long time,” he said during an interview on CNBC. “They had a good business which was their internet real estate platform. The growth in that has slowed dramatically so that now the growth is zero… The most problematic is what they call their, I believe, iHome business, an internet buying business where they actually go out and...

Science & Art Reflect our Search for the Truth - Is There an Art in Science? 8

Is There an Art in Science?

We know there is science in art. Musical scales. Perspective and the golden ratio. The ordered sequence of a good novel. It’s difficult to be a good artist without knowing, or at least intuitively applying the truths found in the logic. Both science and art reflect our search for the truth. Our primal human nature is to resist the truth, even as it hits us in the groin. Resist the change. Fear. Give up something that has protected you. Something that gives you a place. A belonging. A prestige. An ego. A place where you are respected. Then someone or something comes along and says there is a better way. I...

Appraiser vs Machine - The Appraiser Cannot be Replaced by a Machine 5

Appraisers vs. Machines

Collateral risk analysis (appraisals being a key element of that) is partially art, partially science. Those two facets are blended inseparably, like a soup…the ingredients can’t be separated. While computers can undeniably perform certain tasks better than humans (such as the handling of large amounts of data) appraisers can perform other absolutely critical aspects of the process better than a machine. The appraiser can actually see the property to be valued, they can utilize their human senses, they can use their judgement based upon what they observe by physically being at “ground zero” (the Subject property), and can then apply...

Racial Bias: Redlining in the Modern Era 13

Racial Bias: Redlining in the Modern Era

…are they behind this modern day redlining?… The broad definition of an algorithm according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary is “a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end.” It is pretty basic and fully understood, right? Now think back to those dreaded English classes. When did you learn about acronyms? Grade School, High School, College? Regardless, let’s just say it was a while back, so I will refresh your memory. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, an acronym is” a word formed from the initial letter of words of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound...

Trade Secrets Battles of AMCs & Lenders Relating to Valuation Technology 16

AMCs & Lenders Fighting…

…Battles over alleged misappropriation of trade secrets relating to residential valuation technology and services… AMCs and Lenders Fighting Over Next Generation Valuation Products and Technology The residential valuation business for mortgage lenders has been taking big steps lately toward wide scale replacement of the historical Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR or 1004) form used in mortgage lending. As this movement happens, some would-be providers of replacement valuation products (such as “hybrid” appraisals) and automated valuation models (AVMs) are fighting over technology turf and trade secrets. There are currently three big legal battles over alleged misappropriation of trade secrets relating to...

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against BPO and AMC Firms for Allegedly Unpaid Fees

Unpaid BPO Fees Class Action On December 2, 2013, three law firms in Florida, Washington and Colorado teamed together to file a class action complaint on behalf of real estate agents and others allegedly owed unpaid fees for broker price opinions ordered by BrokerPriceOpinion.com. The complaint also names three-related companies First Valuation, LLC, First Valuation Services, LLC, and First Valuation Technology, LLC as defendants on the basis that they are “alter egos” of BrokerPriceOpinion.com and do not have true corporate separateness in their operation. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Colorado, where the defendants are based. The named plaintiff in...

Fuzzy Math Of Home Values 0

The Fuzzy Math of Home Values

Fuzzy Math In a housing market that’s been mostly a cause for gloom, so-called home-valuation technology has become one of the few sources of excitement. After years of real estate pros holding all the informational cards in the home-sale game, Web-driven companies like Zillow, Homes.com and Realtor.com are offering to reshuffle the deck. They’ve rolled out at-your-fingertips technology via laptop and smartphone to give shoppers and owners an estimate of what almost any home is worth. And people have flocked to the data in startling numbers. Vigilant homeowners check their values to help decide whether it’s worth the hassle of...

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