CoreLogic has thousands of clients who use automated valuation models (AVMs) to support mortgage lending and other activities associated with real estate transactions. Mortgage lending activities which utilize AVMs include loan underwriting and origination, prequalification, appraisal quality control, and account management. In addition to our own AVMs, CoreLogic also distributes AVMs provided by other vendors.
As a result of your recent mortgage loan application, you may receive a copy of an AVM report provided to your lender by CoreLogic. The report is provided to you by your lender to help you better understand the information used by the lender doing the property valuation process for the property connected to your loan application. The information contained within this section is provided to help you understand the purpose and content of the AVM report.
AVMs provide a guideline for lenders to use in determining the probable value of a property. AVMs estimate value based solely on property characteristics and local real estate market data. An AVM is not an appraisal prepared by a certified or licensed appraiser, nor is it intended to replace an appraisal. Learn More.
If you have questions about what an Automated Valuation Model is, or are looking for explanations of terms, you can explore the AVM FAQs. Learn More.
An AVM is a computer-driven mathematical formula that uses basic property characteristics, local market information, and price trends to arrive at an estimated value or value range. Lenders use AVMs because they offer a fast, affordable, statistically derived estimate of a property’s value.
Each AVM uses its own mathematical formula and may draw property data from different databases. Accuracy and reliability vary, depending on the quality of the underlying logic, data, and technology. There are a number of AVMs on the market developed by different companies. The AVMs offered by CoreLogic include ValuePoint®4, Home Price Analyzer, PowerBase® 6, PASS®, Prospector, GeoAVM Distressed™, and CASA®.
While each AVM is distinct, all share certain elements:
Beyond those common characteristics, AVMs can be quite different and may return widely varied values for the same property. For that reason, each lender has policies on how it will use AVMs and which AVMs it will use. That’s why you should talk to your lender if you have questions about how (or if) an AVM was used in processing your loan.
AVMs Versus Appraisals
It’s important to note that AVMs are not the same as appraisals. When completing an appraisal a licensed or certified appraiser conducts a property visit. From the site visit, the appraiser writes a report that typically includes exterior and interior inspection details and a more in-depth evaluation of the property, neighborhood, and surrounding market. While a full appraisal returns a value specific to that property and its amenities, appraisals cost several hundred dollars and the borrower generally pays that cost. Where they are appropriate, high-quality AVMs offer a fast, affordable alternative that is, on the whole, accurate for the general market value.
What’s In A CoreLogic AVM?
AVMs are calculated using many different types of property and local market data. No one piece of information or factor alone will determine a property’s value. Instead, CoreLogic AVMs use a broad range of data elements, including:
What’s Not In A CoreLogic AVM?
CoreLogic AVMs consider a wide range of information about the property and surrounding market. However, they do not consider:
AVMs do not include a physical or visual property inspection by a licensed or certified appraiser. Therefore, major modifications or upgrades made to a property not included in the public record data may not be reflected in the AVM value. Additionally, if the address submitted to the AVM is not correct, the result will not be accurate. Be sure to check the address on the AVM report to verify that it matches the property address and contact your lender if it does not.
At CoreLogic, we take great pride in having the most current, complete, and accurate U.S. property and home ownership data available and we draw on that data to generate our AVM results. In spite of our best efforts, errors do occasionally occur. In most cases it is determined that the error was made at the data source, the county recorder’s office. We cannot correct or request correction to a county’s public records. The property owner must file a claim with the county to have the public record changed.
Automated valuation models (AVMs) are statistically based computer programs that use real estate information such as comparable sales, property characteristics, and price trends to provide a current estimate of market value for a specific property. An AVM report provides a written summary of the results.
AVMs provide fast and easy access to property valuations, benefitting both lenders and consumers by reducing the costs and time delays typically associated with traditional property appraisals. AVMs also provide consistency and objectivity in the property valuation process. While banking institutions cannot substitute AVMs for appraisals in all real estate-related financial transactions, many lenders utilize AVMs in the loan process. How and when lenders use AVMs is specific to each financial institution.
At CoreLogic, economists, scientists, and statisticians develop the mathematical formulas our AVMs employ to estimate market values. When developing AVMs, our analytical team researches how properties in various geographic areas are similar (in terms of living area, number of bedrooms and baths, and many other details) and examine the relationships between those property details and actual sale prices. These relationships form a pattern our analytical designers use to develop a statistical model to estimate a property’s market value.
AVM development requires an ongoing process of refinement. When an AVM produces a value estimate, we feed information on many local properties, as well as the subject property, into the AVM’s formula, assigning different weights to information based on its influence in a given market over a specific period of time. Because property details and markets are always changing, we collect new data nightly and regularly update value estimates to capture new sales in a neighborhood. This ensures that our AVMs estimate the value of a property based on the most recent data available in an area. However, data availability depends on the county recorder’s office, so delays from days to months can occur between when the county recorder of deeds receives notification of a sales transaction and when that data is made publicly available.
For more than 40 years, we’ve been collecting vast amounts of property data from many sources, which we use in our property value estimates. Most of the information comes from public record data collected from county clerks, assessors, treasurers, registers and recorders of deeds, and other government officials. And, just as an appraiser would, AVMs can sometimes access data about properties currently for sale, including the subject property, collected from a number of home-listing data suppliers. The data available may include property characteristics and current asking price, which may be incorporated into an AVM data source.
An AVM report provides a great deal of information related to the AVM’s value estimate for a property, including:
In addition to these key points, an AVM report may contain other relevant property characteristics and market information.
All AVMs rely on the accuracy, comprehensiveness, and timeliness of the data they use. Valuation accuracy will vary, depending on a wide range of factors. The most significant factor is the number of recent home sales in the area and how similar the property is to surrounding area properties. Generally, all AVMs tend to be less accurate in rural areas where sales are fewer. However, even in rural areas, AVMs will often provide accurate value estimates. AVMs are also less accurate when valuing properties that are unusual, much larger than average, or have particular distinctive features.
The number of property sales in the local market area can affect how much the AVM provider knows about current property values in that market. Generally, the more property sales, data, and information available about properties in an area, the more accurate the AVM estimate is likely to be.
There are a number of reasons an AVM might contain an unexpected valuation, including:
AVMs tend to work best where there is an abundance of current data, properties in a given area are similar, and a property's condition and marketability are typical for the area. If your property’s AVM value doesn’t seem right, it may be that there is not enough current local data, the neighborhood contains dissimilar properties, or your property differs significantly from the neighborhood average.
Contact your lender with any questions about how an AVM report was used in conjunction with your loan. Each lender has its own policies regarding when and how AVMs are used, so your lender is the best source for information about an AVM used in your loan process.
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Should you have questions about the AVM report or other outcomes you received, please contact your lender with any questions about how an AVM report was used in conjunction with your loan. Each lender has their own policies regarding when and how AVMs are used, so your lender is the best source for information about an AVM used in your loan process. The CFPB has additional information about the disclosure of appraisals and other written valuations, click here to access this website.