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    Lending Technology | 3 min read

    Commonly Asked Questions about Automated Valuation Models

    An Automated Valuation Model, or more commonly known as an AVM, is a program that automatically analyzes various data points to produce an estimate on the current value of a home or property. An AVM includes:

    • Property identifying information including address and/or assessor’s parcel number and owner name

    • Prior sales of the property

    • Living area/square footage

    • Year built

    • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms

    • Lot size

    • Public record information collected from state and county records, such as deed transfers

    • Recent sales and listing of similar properties in the local market area

    • Area pricing trends

    I recently sat down with Chuck Mureddu, SVP, Chief Valuation and Compliance Officer, for a Q&A about what you can expect when using an AVM.

    I received a “no-hit”, can you try another AVM?

    Yes. A “no-hit” means that the AVM was not able to produce a value or range of value. Many lenders will try running another specific AVM model or cascade should this occur.

    There are several factors that contribute to a “no-hit” including, but not limited to:

    • The property could not be found (in the property database)*

    • Multiple properties were found/unit numbers missing

    • Insufficient quantity and quality of data available for AVM to calculate a value

    • AVM was able to generate a value, but the confidence score did not meet the criteria

    • The subject property may not be a single-family home or condominium

    *Address issues could be resolved by modifying or correcting the address entered or by providing additional information such as the property tax ID or parcel number.

    I was able to pull an AVM on a property last year and now I’m receiving a “no-hit”, can you tell me why?

    The data used by AVM providers are dynamic and subject to change. In this instance, the model may have had enough data last year to return a value, but now the data may be limited within the shifting timeframe to calculate a value. Another reason could be the confidence score may have dropped and did not meet the criteria this year.

    To troubleshoot this issue, double check the address to make sure it is identical to the address that was input the previous year or by providing the property tax ID or parcel number.

    I pulled an AVM a month ago and then another today, but the values are different. Why do they not match?

    The data used by AVM providers are dynamic, so there may be more recent data. Many AVMs analyze the nation’s housing stock one property at a time, weekly or bi-weekly. In the period of several months, properties could have sold or listed that are influencing the surrounding values.

    This AVM does not show all the data on the property i.e., tax value, missing pool, square footage off, etc. Why is there missing data?

    The AVM property characteristics can only be displayed if available from the public records data sources. AVMs get their property DNA (characteristic data) predominantly from about one of three public record providers. The underlying tax assessor data, or recorder data, typically have missing fields or values. If the first AVM presented is missing a property characteristic chances are other AVM models will be similar.

    Why does my AVM not show any recent sales?

    AVMs may use hundreds of recent sales in the calculation of the estimated value, but will only display those that best match the subject property. If recent sales are not presented, then it is because the AVM did not find any that match the subject property with similar property characteristics. A possible reason is the property is in a non-disclosure state i.e., Texas does not require that the transfer tax or sales price be provided on the recorded documents. In some cases, AVM providers have relationships with MLS data sources. Using data from this source helps the valuation but there may be a licensing restriction on the use of the data stating it cannot be shown on a report. This kind of data licensing is rare.

    This AVM has a low score, why would an AVM return if the score was this low?

    Each institution has individual risk tolerances. In some cases, your institution may be comfortable lending on a property as there may be other compensating factors to support your lending decision.

    Valuation accuracy will vary depending on a wide range of factors. AVMs are less accurate when valuing properties that are unusual, larger than average, rural, historic, or have particular distinctive features. Each model has a scoring range and will fail when it falls below a predefined score by the AVM model. All AVMs rely on the accuracy, comprehensiveness, and timeliness of the data they use. The most significant factor is the number of recent sales in the area and how similar the property is to surrounding properties.

    If your institution determines that you would like place-specific requirements on score minimums, there are models available.

    The AVM doesn’t have my borrowers name on it, can this be revised?

    The AVM providers deliver the owner information available in their databases. Some third-party AVMs i.e., Freddie Mac’s HVE, by design do not provide owner names.

    If you're looking for a vendor for valuation services, click here to check out our offering!

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    Lending Technology

    Kymberly Sims

    As the VP of Marketing & Sales Administration, Kymberly is responsible for overseeing all Marketing efforts of SWBC Lending Solutions. In addition, Kymberly works with internal and external customers to support the SWBC Lending Solutions sales team. Kymberly joined SWBC in 2008.

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