San Antonio Appraiser Blog

HousingWire, June 20, 2024

On Thursday, two U.S. regulators–the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)–announced their approval of a final rule imposing quality control standards for automated valuation models (AVMs) used by mortgage originators and secondary market issuers. 

As appraisers, navigating the landscape of property valuation has always been a delicate dance between art and science. The recent approval by federal regulators for the use of Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) in mortgages represents a significant juncture in the industry—one that prompts reflection on the unintended consequences that may arise from relying too heavily on technology over human judgment.

While AVMs offer a data-driven approach to property valuation by crunching numbers and analyzing market trends, they risk overlooking crucial nuances that define the fabric of real estate valuation. Real estate, unlike many other assets, is deeply intertwined with emotions, intangible attributes, and factors that defy simple analytical quantification.

The potential unintended consequences of widespread AVM usage in mortgages are multifaceted. Firstly, AVMs may struggle to capture the unique characteristics and idiosyncrasies of individual properties that can significantly impact their value. Factors such as curb appeal, neighborhood dynamics, and subjective aesthetics play a substantial role in property valuation, often eluding the algorithms of AVMs.

Moreover, real estate transactions are often laden with complexities that extend beyond raw data points. The negotiation process, sentimental value attached to a home, and localized market dynamics all contribute to the final price agreed upon—a realm where human appraisers excel in their ability to contextualize and interpret information beyond the numbers.

As appraisers, we recognize the value that technology brings in terms of efficiency and speed in the valuation process. However, we also caution against diminishing the role of human expertise and nuanced judgment in the valuation of real estate. AVMs, while powerful tools, should be viewed as complementary rather than a substitute for the nuanced insights that appraisers bring to the table.

The reliance on AVMs in mortgages may inadvertently lead to homogenization in property valuations, overlooking the subtle variations and unique attributes that can significantly affect a property's worth. Real estate valuation is an intricate dance between tangible and intangible factors—a dance that appraisers are trained to navigate with sensitivity and acumen.

As we navigate this new frontier of AVM integration in mortgages, it is essential for appraisers, lenders, and regulators to strike a balance between technological innovation and the human touch that is intrinsic to the world of real estate valuation. By acknowledging the limitations of AVMs and leveraging them alongside human appraisal expertise, we can ensure a more comprehensive and accurate approach to determining property values while preserving the essence of real estate as a domain where emotions and qualitative factors hold significant sway.

Posted by Mark Caraveo on June 27th, 2024 6:53 AMLeave a Comment

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In the complex landscape of real estate, Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) play a critical role, particularly in the process of residential home purchases or refinancing. AMCs serve as intermediaries between lenders and appraisers, ensuring that the appraisal process is conducted fairly and independently. While their involvement is mandated by regulatory standards to bring transparency and integrity to home financing, their impact on the process is multifaceted. This in-depth analysis seeks to unravel the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of AMCs' involvement in the residential home market, providing a comprehensive overview for buyers, sellers, and industry professionals.

The Genesis of AMCs

To understand AMCs' role, it is crucial to delve into their origins. The genesis of Appraisal Management Companies can be traced back to regulatory reforms following the 2008 financial crisis. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act significantly impacted the real estate appraisal industry, enforcing stricter appraisal guidelines. The legislation aimed to eliminate conflicts of interest and promote the accuracy of appraisals by mandating the separation of lenders and appraisers, thus giving birth to a more structured role for AMCs in real estate transactions.

The Role of AMCs in Real Estate Transactions

Appraisal Management Companies serve a pivotal role by acting as a buffer between lenders and appraisers. They are responsible for selecting and overseeing independent appraisers to ensure that property valuations are executed impartially and professionally. This process is vital for maintaining the objectivity of appraisals, safeguarding against undue influence or bias, and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory standards.

The Good: Benefits of AMCs

Ensuring Impartiality and Compliance

One of the most significant advantages of AMCs is their ability to maintain impartiality in the appraisal process. By having an intermediary that focuses on compliance and regulatory adherence, the chances of undue influence on appraisers are minimized. This setup helps in protecting the buyer's and lender's interests, ensuring that the property valuation is a true reflection of the market value.

Professional Oversight and Quality Control

AMCs also contribute to enhancing the quality of appraisals. With a structured system for selecting qualified appraisers and a mechanism for reviewing appraisal reports, AMCs help in maintaining a high standard of accuracy and professionalism. This oversight is crucial in minimizing errors and ensuring that appraisals reflect realistic property values.

The Bad: Drawbacks of AMCs

Additional Costs

The involvement of AMCs in the appraisal process introduces additional costs. Lenders typically pass these costs on to the consumers, making refinancing or purchasing a home more expensive. While these costs are justified by the benefits of impartiality and compliance, they nevertheless represent a financial burden for the consumer.

Bureaucratic Delays

The complexity and additional layers of oversight introduced by AMCs can lead to delays in the appraisal process. These delays can be a source of frustration for all parties involved, particularly in a fast-moving real estate market where timing is critical.

The Ugly: Criticisms and Controversies

Perceived Lack of Local Market Knowledge

A common critique of AMCs is that they may assign appraisers who lack intimate knowledge of the local real estate market. This perceived disconnect can lead to valuations that do not accurately reflect local market conditions, potentially disadvantaging buyers or sellers.

Quality Versus Cost Cutting

Some critics argue that, in their attempt to manage costs, AMCs might prioritize cost-efficiency over the quality of appraisals. This cost-cutting approach can undermine the appraisal's reliability, impacting decision-making processes in property transactions.

Navigating the Future: Trends and Improvements

The appraisal industry and AMCs are continually evolving. Future trends indicate a push towards greater transparency and the adoption of technology in appraisal processes. Innovations such as digital appraisals and enhanced regulatory standards aim to refine the precision of property valuations and improve the efficiency of the process.


In the intricate ecosystem of residential home purchases or refinancing, Appraisal Management Companies embody a mix of essential benefits and notable drawbacks. Their role as impartial intermediaries promotes fairness and integrity in property appraisals, contributing to a more transparent and compliant real estate market. Despite the challenges of additional costs, potential delays, and concerns over appraisal quality, the evolution of AMCs and the appraisal process suggests a positive trajectory towards enhanced accuracy and efficiency. As the real estate landscape continues to evolve, the role of AMCs will undoubtedly adapt, striving to balance regulatory compliance with the practical needs of buyers, sellers, and lenders.


Posted by Mark Caraveo on June 17th, 2024 12:17 AMLeave a Comment

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A skilled appraiser can be beneficial in several ways:


  1. Accurate assessment and expert guidance: A skilled appraiser conducts a thorough assessment of a property, taking into account factors such as its features, condition, and market trends [1]. This assessment provides valuable insights for buyers, sellers, and investors, enabling them to make informed decisions and strategic plans for real estate transactions. Appraisers consider various elements like the property's location, amenities, and nearby facilities to provide an accurate market value.

  2. Objective and unbiased opinions: Skilled appraisers bring knowledge, experience, and impartiality to the table. They provide objective, unbiased opinions of property value based on rigorous qualifications and professional memberships [2]. Their expertise ensures fair and sound decision-making by considering market trends, property analyses, and other relevant factors.

  3. Mitigation of risk and assurance for lenders: Home appraisals are crucial in the lending process as they establish the correct value for a home and provide assurance to lenders [3]. An accurate appraisal helps lenders verify that the loan amount aligns with the property's value, mitigating risk and facilitating smoother financing processes.

  4. Preventing overpayment and enhancing marketability: Appraisals benefit buyers by preventing overpayment for a home and providing an objective benchmark based on fair market value [3]. For sellers, an accurate appraisal provides insights into their property's market value, enabling them to set appropriate listing prices and enhance marketability [3].

  5. Informed decision-making and risk mitigation: Appraisers play a vital role in valuation processes, ensuring fair and accurate assessments based on condition, location, and market factors [6]. Whether it's for property buyers, sellers, or lenders, appraisers provide expert guidance that aids in informed decision-making and risk mitigation.

Overall, a skilled appraiser brings expertise, impartiality, and market knowledge to real estate transactions, helping clients make confident and informed choices while minimizing risks.


Posted by Mark Caraveo on June 4th, 2024 12:44 AMLeave a Comment

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Searching for reliable real estate appraisals in San Antonio?

Discover the expertise of On The Mark Appraisals and how their professional services can provide you with accurate property valuations. Contact us today!



When it comes to buying or selling a property in San Antonio, having access to accurate valuations is crucial. With On The Mark Appraisals, you can trust that you'll receive expert analysis and reliable property valuations. In this article, we will explore the exceptional services provided by On The Mark Appraisals and why they are the trusted partner for real estate appraisals in San Antonio.

The Expertise of On The Mark Appraisals


On The Mark Appraisals is a leading provider of real estate appraisals in San Antonio and New Braunfels. With their vast experience and commitment to accuracy, they offer a range of services tailored to meet the specific needs of clients. Here are a few key reasons why On The Mark Appraisals stands out:

  1. Comprehensive Property ValuationsOn The Mark Appraisals understands that property valuation involves more than just comparing sales prices. Their appraisers consider a variety of factors, including property condition, location, market trends, and comparable sales data. This comprehensive approach ensures that the valuation reflects the true market value of the property.

  1. Local Market Expertise: With a deep understanding of the San Antonio market, On The Mark Appraisals provides insights into local trends and influences. Their appraisers stay updated on the latest market data, allowing them to deliver accurate valuations that factor in the unique aspects of the San Antonio real estate market.


  1. Prompt and Reliable Service: On The Mark Appraisals values your time and ensures that their services are delivered in a timely manner. They strive to meet deadlines without compromising the quality and accuracy of their valuations. Clients can trust that their needs will be met in a professional and efficient manner.


Frequently Asked Questions about On The Mark Appraisals



Q: How can I request a real estate appraisal from On The Mark Appraisals?

A: To request a real estate appraisal from On The Mark Appraisals, simply visit their website and fill out the contact form or call their dedicated customer service line. Provide relevant details about the property, and their team will assist you in scheduling an appraisal appointment.

Q: What types of properties does On The Mark Appraisals appraise?

A: On The Mark Appraisals provides appraisal services for a wide range of property types, including residential homes, condominiums, townhouses, multi-family properties, and vacant land. Their appraisers have the expertise to handle diverse property valuations.

Q: Are the appraisers at On The Mark Appraisals licensed and certified?

A: Yes, all appraisers at On The Mark Appraisals are licensed and certified professionals. They adhere to strict industry standards and regulations, ensuring that their clients receive accurate and reliable valuations.

Q: How long does the appraisal process typically take?

A: The duration of the appraisal process depends on various factors, including the complexity of the property and the availability of necessary data. On average, the process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. On The Mark Appraisals prioritizes prompt service delivery while maintaining the quality of their valuations.


Trust On The Mark Appraisals for Reliable Valuations

When it comes to obtaining accurate property valuations in San Antonio, On The Mark Appraisals is the trusted choice. Their comprehensive approach, local market expertise, and commitment to prompt service make them an ideal partner for your real estate appraisal needs.

Contact On The Mark Appraisals today to benefit from their professional services and ensure you're equipped with reliable valuations when making important real estate decisions in San Antonio.

Posted by Mark Caraveo on February 21st, 2024 6:39 AMLeave a Comment

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As the owner of On the Mark Appraisals, a residential real estate appraisal company, I have been keeping a close eye on the current appraisal landscape. There are a number of trends that are shaping the industry and it is important for anyone who is buying or selling a home to understand what is happening.

One of the most important trends is the increasing use of technology in the appraisal process. In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards using automated valuation models (AVMs) to help determine the value of a property. These models use data such as recent home sales, local market trends, and other factors to estimate the value of a property.

While AVMs can be a useful tool in some cases, they are not a replacement for a human appraiser. AVMs are not able to take into account unique features of a property that may impact its value, such as a recent renovation or a particularly desirable location.

Another trend in the appraisal industry is the shortage of appraisers. This has been a problem for a number of years and is only getting worse. As more appraisers retire and fewer people enter the profession, there are simply not enough appraisers to meet the demand for their services.

This shortage can have a number of impacts on the appraisal process. It can lead to longer wait times for appraisals, which can delay the sale of a property. It can also lead to higher fees for appraisals, as appraisers are in a position to charge more due to the high demand for their services.

Despite these challenges, there are still many highly skilled and dedicated appraisers out there who are committed to providing accurate and reliable appraisals. At On the Mark Appraisals, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide our clients with the highest level of service and expertise.

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, it is important to work with an experienced appraiser who understands the current landscape of the industry. With the right appraiser on your side, you can be confident that you are getting an accurate and fair appraisal of your property.

Posted by Mark Caraveo on May 16th, 2023 12:59 AMLeave a Comment

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