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Beyond AVMs

AVM providers cross market, include other services

June 22, 2005

By PAULA PARISOT


photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot

Automated valuation services are going beyond determining property values -- with aerial photographs, mortgage leads and flagging of irregular area sales among the services being cross-marketed by providers.

TransUnion Settlement Solutions recently announced a new automated valuation service called the Pre-Decision Qualifier, which the company said offers "an instant and accurate value range for a subject property" allowing the lender to qualify applicants before ordering a full appraisal.

In addition to the appraised value, TransUnion said, the service gathers information on recent neighborhood sales; including any "irregular sales histories," and "transaction history information for the subject and neighboring properties."

"TransUnion's (Pre-Decision Qualifier) offers the mortgage industry a compelling value proposition," Bill Sullivan, TransUnion's senior vice president, sales and marketing said in a recent announcement. "With the power of early decisioning, lenders can better target applicants who meet their risk characteristics, thereby making the origination process more efficient."

Taking valuation systems to new heights, Fidelity National Information Services' Hansen Quality Division also announced recently its new Desktop Valuation with Inspection service that includes aerial views of the subject property and the "surrounding area."

Photos taken by helicopter are electronically transmitted to Hansen Quality for review and comparison by a licensed appraiser, the company explained. Once the report is complete, it is then forwarded electronically to the lender.

"With (Desktop Valuation with Inspection), we feel we have been incredibly successful in utilizing all of our available resources to provide the industry with the most detailed valuation report available," Greg Hansen, president of Hansen Quality said in a recent press release.

Currently, Hansen's service is available in Southern California, but the company said it has plans to expand its service to "25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas over the next 12-18 months."

While both TransUnion and Fidelity National focus primarily on the wholesale end of the mortgage market, Homegain.com offers automated valuation services at the consumer level.

With a reported 4.5 million unique visitors monthly utilizing its website, company spokeswoman Anne Casanova said HomeGain is the 2nd largest real estate portal on the Web. "We can give a ball park figure, a high and a low (property value assessment)," Casanova said regarding consumer requests.

Comparable data is updated daily, Casanova added, with information provided by Fidelity National.

Casanova added that mortgage brokers who sign up with the company could acquire exclusive seller leads according to product offerings and territory.


Paula Parisot is a MortgageDaily.com feature reporter and a blogger at CloserBlog.com who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

Email Paula at: [email protected]


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