When you want to know the value of a home and are content with just a price tag, then an automated valuation model (AVM) might work … but if you need to understand why the home is valued where it is, how it measures up against its neighbors, and what the future forecast of that property is, then you need more than just an AVM.
That’s what HouseCanary’s Value Report does: it explains the the “why” behind the home’s price, breaking down what features drive the most value and how common those features are on the block or in the neighborhood, and then presenting all of that analysis in an easy-to-digest format.
And we’ve just made several big improvements to the Value Report that make it a more powerful tool than ever for investors, appraisers, lenders, homeowners, and anybody else who wants insight into the “why” behind a home’s value.
1. You can now add comments to Value Reports
Whether you’re a real estate professional or a homeowner, you will have opinions and ideas about the features and data in each Value Report. Now, you can document those opinions and ideas directly in the report with our comment functionality.
Comments are visible to anyone who sees your shared report, but you can also use them for private notes or reminders.
2. New rental comps (with heatmaps and filters)
The real estate sales world has used comps (comparable listings) to determine home value and sales price for decades, but can you use the same process to set a monthly rent price? Until now, that hasn’t been easy, but with our new rental comp feature, users can both generate a rental value with comps and use filters and heatmaps to identify neighborhoods and blocks where the rental yield (the return on your rental investment) is higher than the area average.
This way, you can easily compare one block or neighborhood to another in terms of rental yield, crime reporting rates, and other important metrics.
3. Compare and adjust comps in one place
It’s now easy for users to select their own comps, compare those comps to each other and to the subject property, and then make any necessary adjustments all in one place.
And there’s more: HouseCanary’s multiple linear regression model, which measures the effects of different (multiple) features on a property’s value, is also baked into the new comp adjustment interface, so you can use our regression model “secret sauce” and apply it to your own adjustments. In other words, this tool shows you exactly how much that extra bedroom is worth, and also lets you tweak and scale the additional value yourself (because a closet-sized extra bedroom won’t be as big a value-add as an additional master suite).
4. Add your own opinion of price (or rental price)
Sometimes you know something about a property that isn’t reflected in our data — maybe you’re a seller who’s recently renovated your home, or perhaps you’re a real estate agent who lives in the neighborhood and understands price nuances better than most.
Now, you have the option of entering your own opinion of the home’s fair-market price (and fair-market rental price) directly into the Value Report. We signal that it’s a non-HouseCanary-affiliated value to eliminate confusion, and of course, you can also add comments to support your opinion.
5. Faster, more accurate comp search
This under-the-hood change is a bit technical to explain, but the results are easy to see. Thanks to a new Tile38 integration, our comp search is both faster than it was and better at surfacing the closest, most relevant comps to your subject property.
6. Best photos forward
When you’re interested in learning more about a home, of course you want to see pictures. But when the first image that pops up is a basement, hallway, or bathroom, it’s disorienting — and it’s definitely not helping the property make a good first impression.
We’ve retooled our software to include image recognition, so you’ll always see the front of the home first, followed by the kitchen, living room, beds, and baths. (Just like you’d experience it in real life!)
And we’ve also added prioritization to show only the most recent photos first, so you won’t be shown listing images from a decade ago before you can see the photos from this year.
7. More properties and better data
This is a big one! We’re pulling in even more public record and MLS data, then cleaning it up and plugging it into a single product. This gives us better data coverage, and with more property details, we’re able to generate Value Reports for properties that were previously inaccessible.
8. Shareable links are even better
We know that digesting a Value Report for a home is only part of the fun: sharing that Value Report with other people who’d benefit from its contents is also important.
So we’ve improved the functionality of our shareable links, which allow you to send either a read-only or edit-and-save link version to your collaborators, giving them the opportunity to read your comments, view the data, and ultimately make a better real estate decision.