A regional mortgage lender has teamed up with a data analysis company to launch a home valuation site that allows consumers and real estate professionals to fine-tune property details to take into account factors such as amenities and remodeling work.
Data analysis company EMC2Data Inc. powers the site, RevMore.com ("Real Estate Valuations and More"), in a partnership with regional mortgage lender American Capital Corp.
Although RevMore.com currently generates property valuations only in California and Colorado, EMC2Data has coverage in all but about a dozen nondisclosure states where sales price data is considered confidential.
The companies are planning a nationwide launch in the next six months, and at that point will allow other lenders and real estate brokers and agents to incorporate the site’s free valuations into their own websites. While mortgage lenders will have to pay for that capability, real estate brokers and agents will not.
EMC2Data and American Capital Corp. have signed up nine other mortgage banks in different states as partners who will also be featured on the site on an exclusive territory basis, said Jim Silva, EMC2Data’s CEO. The companies are also working with real estate firms, including a Re/Max franchise, he added.
Silva declined to disclose the names of the lenders or the real estate firms, saying EMC2Data wasn’t ready to announce them yet. He said RevMore.com will launch nationally with or without partners in all states.
The companies claim RevMore.com is different from competitors in that it allows consumers to be "extremely precise" in factoring in property amenities and updates, such as new floors or a renovated kitchen, to generate valuations.
"There is even an option if the house has been completely remodeled, which makes it an attractive tool for the real estate investor," Silva said.
"The types of windows matter. Are they double-pane or storm windows? Did the square footage change since the last appraisal? Is the basement now finished? The system allows you to specify whether the property backs to a golf course or park. If any of these factors are missed, the valuation can change dramatically."
Allen Cravello, president of American Capital Corp., notes that many purchase escrows and refinances are canceled, delayed or renegotiated because of low appraisals that take the buyer, seller and lender by surprise.
"RevMore.com … helps dial in the property value upfront, removing the mystery from the process and avoiding issues that pop up at the end of the transaction," Cravello said in a statement. "We are getting our appraisal management companies and underwriting teams aligned with the same information as our borrowers and loan originators, which is a brand-new concept in our business," he said.
Cravello said as the RevMore.com database grows, the valuations "will get highly accurate." The goal, he said, is to reach a point where "we can preapprove the property, something that has never been accomplished in the marketplace."
RevMore.com also offers free real-time mortgage rates specific to a property. RevMore.com does not require users to register or submit personal contact information.
American Capital Corp. does business in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Hawaii. It is based in Los Angeles and has 200 employees there. The company also plans to hire 100 employees at its office in Denver.