Industry NewsTechnology

Appraisal problems in a down market

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Editor's note: Many real estate markets have slowed, and the effects are now being felt by brokers and agents who are struggling through tougher negotiations, and buyers and sellers who are aware of changing times. Among consumers, the slowdown has shaken up expectations and attitudes toward home buying, causing them to worry about future price decreases. In this three-part report, Inman News examines three areas of impact: how the slowdown is expected to influence economic growth; problems created in the property appraisal process; and consumer attitude toward home buying. (Read Part 1 and Part 3.) They aren't about to replace experienced appraisers, but proponents of automated valuation models say they can give their human counterparts a run for their money as lenders look for numbers they can trust in a down market. AVMs -- computer programs that appraise homes by crunching numbers from public records and multiple listing service data -- are used for mortgage loan pre-qualifica...