What Is AVM in Real Estate?

Real Estate Agent with SpringsHomes

Property values are constantly changing, this means that it's important for home sellers and buyers to have an accurate way to value a property. One popular method of valuation is the automated valuation model (AVM).

An AVM is a computer program that provides a home value estimate of a property's fair market value based on data like sales prices, square footage, and lot size. The program uses a variety of factors to come up with an estimate, and it can be used by both home sellers and home buyers.

The benefits of using an AVM are clear. As long as the data is up-to-date, it can provide an accurate estimated value of a property's worth. 

AVMs are used by big real estate portals like Realtor.com and Zillow.com. But they're also used by smaller websites and real estate agents. So if you're looking to get an accurate valuation for your next property sale, you'll probably want to start with an AVM.

How Does an AVM Work?

When you submit information about your property to an AVM, the program uses a mathematical model to evaluate market data from public records about your property to generate a value. This value will be based on a number of factors, including current market conditions and your property's size, location, and upgrades.

The AVM compares your home against other similar properties that have recently sold. The AVM uses the following types of criteria:

  • Sales price
  • Square footage
  • Lot size
  • Property condition
  • Accessibility
  • Condition of the surrounding area
  • Location

There are a few important things to keep in mind when using an AVM. First, the program is only as good as the data it uses. If the data is inaccurate or out of date, the AVM will produce an inaccurate value for your property.

Many AVMs use regression analysis to arrive at a value. This means that the AVM will create a mathematical model to predict how much your property would be worth if it were to sell on the open market. This can be helpful in determining whether or not your property is overpriced or undervalued.

Why Use an AVM?

There are a few reasons you might want to use an AVM when selling your home.

First, an AVM can help you get a more accurate valuation for your property. Sometimes, dealers will offer you a higher price based on an estimate provided by the seller's agent or a home inspector. However, this estimate may not be completely accurate. An AVM can help you verify the value of your home and get a fair offer from the potential buyer.

Second, using an AVM can save you time and money. Many times, sellers receive offers based on estimates provided by their agent or home inspector. These estimates may not reflect the current market conditions or the condition of your property. An AVM can help you better understand the current market conditions and make an informed decision about which offer to accept.

Finally, using an AVM can help protect your investment. If you sell your home without using an AVM, you run the risk of receiving a lower sale price than what is true market value for your home. Using an AVM can help ensure that you receive the highest possible sale price for your property.

Risks of Depending on an AVM For Property Value?

While an AVM is a great way to get a ballpark valuation of your home, there are a few risks associated with relying solely on an AVM for property valuation. The first risk is that the data used to generate the value may be inaccurate. If the data is outdated or inaccurate, the AVM will likely produce an inaccurate value for your property.

Another risk is that the market trends surrounding your property may have changed since the last time an AVM was run on it. If your home is located in a hot market or has recently undergone major renovations, an AVM may not accurately reflect these changes.

Unfortunately, AMV is not exempt from human error, misinterpretation, or bias. The AMV model is a computerized valuation model that uses mathematical formulas and algorithms to estimate the market value of a particular property. Therefore, it is not immune to human error.

For more information on AVMs and how they can help protect your investment, please contact one of our real estate experts today.

Finally, you should always consult with a real estate professional to get a more accurate valuation of your property. They will be able to assess all of the factors that go into calculating a home's true value.

Why Use an AVM?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to use an AVM when purchasing or selling a home.  For example, an AVM can provide a ballpark estimate of your home's value without having to spend hours going through sold data yourself, or getting a Realtor involved to produce an actual CMA. 

A Competitive market analysis (CMA) is a method used by real estate professionals to determine the value of a property in a given market. The CMA is based on information collected from recent sales of similar properties in the area. The benefit of a CMA over the AVM is that a CMA looks at the current market and where it's headed. The AVM uses historical data only.

The CMA can also factor in things like upgrades and improvements while the AVM would have no idea these improvements even exist.

How Can Home Sellers and Home Buyers Benefit From an AVM?

An AVM can help home sellers estimate the value of their home before getting a Realtor involved. Home Owners should look at AVMs as a starting point when trying to establish home values.

In some cases, the AVM may return a figure you are unhappy with, in which case it makes sense to contact a Realtor or an Appraiser to nail down a true value before putting a home on the market. 

Potential buyers can use an AVM to get a general idea of the property's value without having to do any extra research. If the AVM shows that the property is worth significantly less than the list price, this may be a sign that the asking price is too high and suggests that the sellers may be unrealistic or unreasonable.

AVMs should also display confidence scores, which are numerical value that shows how accurate the AVM is with its predictions. AVM reports with confidence scores of 90% or higher are generally considered to be very good.

AVMs and iBuyers

iBuyers were a huge part of the real estate market in 2021. An iBuyer is an institutional buyer, like a pension fund or a real estate investment trust. They're usually big companies that buy properties as an investment.

AVMs helped iBuyers determine the fair market value of properties. iBuyers could use an AVM to calculate the estimated return on investment for a property or to figure out whether or not it's worth purchasing a property.

Most listing services or MLSs will provide AVM tools as part of their services. This means that you can use an AVM to figure out the estimated value of a property before you even decide to tour the home.

AVMs in The Mortgage Industry

Mortgage Lenders will often use AVMs to figure out whether or not to offer a borrower a loan. The AVM can help to determine whether or not the property is worth the mortgage, and whether or not the borrower is able to afford the payments.

Fannie Mae recently announced that it will begin to offer desktop appraisals as an option for its Desktop Underwriter service beginning March 19, 2022. This new feature will allow users to disclose the property value obtained through a certified or licensed appraisal.

 Desktop appraisals can now be completed without visiting the property. This is made possible by leveraging big data, analytics, and technology.

Automated valuation models (AVMs) are commonly used in the mortgage industry to help support the appraiser’s conclusion about a property’s value. There has been an effort by the mortgage industry to allow technology and big data to take on even more of a role in AVM development so that they can be more accurate.

Freddie Mac also utilized AVMs in their recent loan portfolio review. This review was done in order to identify properties that may be at risk of default in the future. By utilizing AVMs, Freddie Mac was able to make more informed decisions about which properties to invest in and which to sell.

Other Valuation Methods 

AVM estimates are here to stay, they fill a need and are just plain fun to use because people want to know how much their home is worth. Unfortunately, the AVM algorithms aren't nearly as accurate as some of the tried and true valuation models like the competitive market analysis we discussed earlier or a report from a professional appraiser.

Both the CMA and the traditional appraisal take into account more factors than the AVM can at this point. However, the AVM is a valuable tool and will undoubtedly continue to develop and improve through machine learning.

At this point in time the property valuations from an AVM are just another valuable tool in the arsenal of any home seller, home buyer, and professional real estate agents.

what's an AVM in real estate

Comments (1)

Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Jul 15, 2022 04:15 AM