I received a request last week to do a review. From what I'm being told, the review request was triggered because the report was previously reviewed by an AVM which indicated a value some $30,000 below what the appraiser estimated the market value to be.
My research revealed some 46 potential comparables. What the AVM obviously missed (surprise!!!) was the fact homes in the neighborhood were built some 50 years ago and had been updated and remodeled to varying degrees.
The AVM apparently had 46 numbers stuffed into it (kinda like a valuation sausage), and spit out a number somewhere in the middle of the range. To further compound the problem the appraiser missed, alleviated, or failed to explain a significant amount of information.
After some months of attempting to utilize this AVM my clients have come to the same conclusions I've drawn: AVM's are only accurate and useful in very limited situations, and they're suspect even then. All in all they've proven to be a total waste of time and money. I'm glad I was able to help them form this opinion.
I thought some of you may find this interesting, if you haven't seen it already. The site below has a lot of information on the type of products the AVM company provides, as well as a list of their top clients. http://www.csmarketing.net