Automatic Review of Photos in Appraisal Reports

Automatic Review of Photos in Appraisal Reports

It means the statements in your appraisal reports about the actual component material, and its quality and current condition, can be challenged by computer software. 

Folks, this news release (below) was in several publications on Wed, June 19, 2024. These kinds of releases are mostly factual, but are often embellished to present a particular ‘owner’ point of view to influence opinion about products.

I remember listening to Jeff Bradford many years ago who discussed the early stage process to electronically review photos. He said it was pretty difficult then. But that was before we began hearing about “A.I.” – artificial intelligence – which has taken the world by storm! is a European company, whose engineers and programmers have figured out a way to analyze photos for component quality and condition – or so they claim. However, this technology is now incorporated into various aspects of appraising, including the photos you include in reports.

It means the statements in your appraisal reports about the actual component material, and its quality and current condition, can be challenged by computer software. That folks, is a double-edged sword!

AI-Driven Technology Automates the Appraisal Quality Control Process

ACI™, a leading provider of workflow solutions for the valuation industry for nearly 40 years and a member of the First American (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, today announced that ACI Sky™, a best-in-class digital quality control and compliance platform, is now integrated with, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision solutions for real estate. The integration with automates the detection of discrepancies within appraisals and identification of images that need editing prior to submission to an appraisal management company (AMC) or lender. The technology also examines photo-based data to aid in analyzing the condition and quality of properties.

“Our AI-powered ACI technology solves two major pain points that AMCs and lenders face – inconsistency between the data and imagery in appraisal reports and the inadvertent inclusion of images containing personal details that should be edited out,” said Chris Flynn, head of product and strategy at First American Data & Analytics.

“ACI Sky’s industry-leading appraisal quality control automation paired with the power of’s computer vision capabilities will reduce appraisal revisions, saving time and expense in the appraisal process.”

The new integration leverages AI to extract insights from images captured during the appraisal inspection process to identify inconsistencies in appraisal reports at the time of appraisal delivery, minimizing costly and time-consuming appraisal revisions.’s technology also flags images that may require editing to omit personal or private details prior to submission to an appraisal management company or lender.

“The combination of ACI’s deep experience in appraisal technology and quality control, combined with AI’s ability to analyze and extract insight from imagery will enhance ACI’s industry-leading solutions, further automating the appraisal quality control process,” said Tony Pistilli, general manager, valuations at

ACI Sky leverages dynamic PAR® Logic rules engine to assess integrity, quality and completeness, while reducing exceptions via real-time alerts at file submission and review, expediting the appraisal review process. To date, ACI Sky has reviewed more than 6 million appraisals nationwide.

For more information about ACI and the integration with, visit

About, the leader in AI and computer vision for real estate, delivers image recognition and data enrichment solutions for many of the industry’s top brands and leading innovators. Its advanced AI-powered technology automatically analyzes property imagery to unlock visual insights at scale that empower real estate companies with relevant and actionable property intelligence. is like having a real estate expert instantly research and provide a deep insight into each of the 1 million property photos uploaded daily. For more information on, visit the website:

Dave Towne
Image credit flickr - Forgemind ArchiMedia
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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22 Responses

  1. Avatar LM says:

    It’s already happening. The software spotted a small piece of fencing that was broken off near the bottom in one of my reports and I got a revision asking if it was a safety issue. I just rolled my eyes because it was so ridiculous. So the computer has zero common sense and we now have to talk to an idiot computer. Such a waste of time.

  2. Avatar Dave says:

    It seems that our role as “collateral verification” mistakenly may not be valued. The “used car salesmen” industry is pushing for building inspectors, aeriel photos and photo based data analysis. Don’t worry a bit about this -only when they do not need a licensed professional signature to make a loan will it impact us. Soooooo “us”, don’t delegate collateral verification and don’t agree to review out sourced data as sufficient for your signature and most of all charge fees commiserate with your professional skills and you should not have a problem! Oh, and by the way stop whining about AMC abuse, etc.

  3. Avatar Spencer Paul says:

    In Total, when placing an image into my templates with some labels already filled out, I get a warning that my label does not appear to match the image placed. Get ready for more revisions about personal effects in the report images that suggest the house is not clean and orderly, or would suggest the subject units condition is not how the CU was programed to view C4 and C3, etc. Fun times.

    • Avatar Pray Hard says:

      We can’t say “clean and orderly” any longer or “church” or “master bedroom” or “master bath” or “school district” or the subdivision name if it has a flagged word or phrase or much of anything else that’s actually descriptive. Are any of you kids old enough to remember when “master bedroom/bath” were nothing but builder marketing terms? As the world sinks deeper into the soul/mind-killing abyss of DEI there’s no tellin’ what will be banned next.

  4. Avatar Dave says:

    So Spencer,
    Let’s be little more forthcoming – unless you want to really fill your report up with revisions, 9 times out of 10 you only will be saying C3 or C4 and of course this is a binary entry – I’m not sure I would stress out about new technology! Best advise – try to write maybe ONE sentence that is applicable to the assignment instead of the multi pages of boiler plate. Is that really so hard?

    • Avatar Spencer Paul says:

      Dave you are a little snippy today. I was speaking about having to answer questions from UW challenging what we deem to be C3 and C4 and that the software is already tracking on Total, but you want to attack me and assume I have nothing but boiler plate comments on every thing when you don’t know me nor my work. This is not the care, but you have fun with assuming because that appears to be much easier for you than asking a real question.

  5. Avatar Dave says:

    Thank you Spencer, not meant to attack you – just the voice of reason for the newbies. The many residential appraisals I have reviewed caused me to comment. Newbies -just explain why (not quantitative) why comparables bracket and why you have the experience and knowledge to “attempt” to narrow the unadjusted range. And please remember there is no such thing as “regression analysis” but there may be correlation analysis and for every match pair you find I can find a different one – don’t go down that rabbit hole newbies! Peace & Love!

  6. Avatar Spencer Paul says:

    I have 13 years under my belt. I’m not new. I don’t use regression analysis and never stated to. You come across as dismissive and superior when you make assumption in a conversation the is between you and I on a blog. Good day.

  7. Avatar PJTC says:

    It’s only fair if AI is used to review a lawyers court case to determine if they provided adequate representation. Oh, a review of an accountant individual tax return to insure it is flawless. Oh, oh, better yet, a review of a brain surgeon operation to insure he or she is competent. It is all such BS. Who are the morons creating a paycheck for themselves and making their AI company rich and fat. Sorry folks but just because it is possible does not make it right. Musk is correct, when AI is used to second guess a human, human life as we know it is faced with extinction. In the mean time, the morons suggesting this is a good idea are living in a world of sunshine and roses.

    • Avatar Spencer Paul says:

      Until the AI can teach the Ai, or become “true” Ai where it can think and reason for itself and it’s own benefit. Then we are all replaced. I always have to ask, to what end is AI going to take over and what are the earth inhabitants going to do when many/most (?) jobs are replaced by this specific type of automation?

  8. Avatar Dave says:

    Sorry Spence – once again – AI does not teach AI, AI watches what you do (however skillful that may be) and then it will analyze much more data using the same reasoning that you use with limited data. Think Mass appraisal!
    Me again Peace & Love

  9. Avatar Spencer Paul says:

    Dave – Yes AI can teach AI. Do more reading about MIT and mechanical robotics. Sweet baby Jesus, you are not the source of all knowledge. NOT AT ALL.

  10. Avatar Pray Hard says:

    I’ve been accused of quality inconsistencies. I’ve told them to drive a 200 mile round trip and check for themselves. I’ve been accused of using the same photo for two different comparables over a similar looking gate. I told them they could drive that 80 mile round trip and see for themselves. But, hey, that’s OK, the reviewers don’t have to outrun the end of the fee like we do, do they? It’s only us and we don’t count. And, besides, what does reality have to do with anything these days? Let’s just send the sketch and the photos in to them and they and their AI can send them to some dude in Calcutta to actually do the appraisal.

  11. Avatar Dave says:

    Spencer- Forgive the criticism please. I will explain this such that you might find comfort. Let’s start at the basics. Some appraisers search purely by price or some other attribute that may not drive value. The smart ones identify the submarket and draw a continuous radius until they see the best 3 comps (we don’t need 6) – At this point you are visually studying the MLS descriptions to get the best. THIS IS BEST PRACTICE!. Now with AI looking over my shoulder it will learn repeatedly my intuitive technique, it will make mistakes, but will eventually dig that data out in a nana second and can handle thousands of data points for those of you out there who like to brag about statistics and insert graphs. LOL AI is your friend gang.

    • Avatar Spencer Paul says:

      I find no comfort in AI helping me nor ruining my desired trade. Do you honestly think I like it? Do you think that I even use it? Do you think that I don’t already know what best practices are?!?

  12. Baggins Baggins says:

    There is an over abundance of technologies to measure and manage loan risk already in existence. Fannie ‘method and system for evaluating a loan’. Long lists of associated patents. If the programs are functioning as intended why do they need more of them? FirstAM, freddie, fannie, corelogic.

    GLB privacy regulations? Get out the old camera that added interesting lighting effects. Adjust your image settings and resolution down. Alamode has a setting which shrinks photos; maximum kb size can be set to small.

    First American bought ACI. Major corporations involved with lending and GSE process wanted the appraisal data, to monetize and automate the process. There is no more ACI, other than the brand name. That’s FirstAmerican, another amc owned investor focused company. There is no more Mercury, Scope, M&S, or Alamode. That’s Corelogic, another amc owned investor focused company set. Why did Bradford of Clickforms abandon all three of his patents? They were working on something to do with recreating spacial images into an interactive form, I think 3d mapping.

    What about the American consumer, privacy, and data security? People are probably more comfortable not knowing how the automation works. Learn if you want though, read the patents. It’s quite possible that all data for every appraisal, every piece of data acquired in the process of originating a loan, is shared to a hundred or more different companies around the world. The ruse of ‘appraiser racism’ certainly helped keep peoples attention away from these emerging technologies. The advanced automated technologies have gone live incrementally, and many of the incorporated next gen more advanced ones seem to have moved into live implementation around 2020, continuing to this day.

    Tried to look for, owner patents, could not find any. Maybe they’re under firstam content somewhere. If you want to know how automatic image analysis software functions, read on image mapping, machine learning, and visual similarity correlations.

    • Avatar PJTC says:

      I like the camera resolution idea!?

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Thanks. I called and asked about technical specs today. Apparently in the xml pdf conversion process all photos are sized down anyways, so that may not really mean anything. I was looking and all my photos are 2mb, yet even with a hundred of them in there, the pdf total report size is only 6-10 mb anyways. Probably would not change anything. Too bad, was a good idea, did not seem to pan out. As the guy explained it to me the entire pdf is basically one consolidated image file.

  13. Avatar Pray Hard says:

    I’ve just about stopped bidding on AMC jobs. By the time I bid an “acceptable” fee and take the cost approach fee out and the send fee out, I’m making less than I was making 25 years ago. It would take a fee of $750 to $1,500 per house appraisal currently to have kept up with inflation, especially given the extra “expectations and requirements” we’re told are mandatory. The fees the AMC’s expect don’t even cover the drive to the property, the photos and measurement.


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Automatic Review of Photos in Appraisal Reports

by Dave Towne time to read: 3 min