FAQs

General

What areas do you do home appraisals?

  • Virginia
    • Arlington, Alexandria, Charles City, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Gloucester, Hampton, James City, Loudoun, Manassas City, Manassas Park, New Kent, Newport News, Norfolk, Prince William, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg City, York.
  • Washington, DC
  • Maryland
    • Montgomery and Prince Georges

Do you provide consultation services?

Yes. We offer a full range of appraisal consulting services. Areas of specialization include new construction, plan review, renovation/remodeling, green considerations and complex property issues.

Where can I get information about becoming an appraiser?

In the State of Virginia, to obtain a Certified Residential License, you will need;

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Complete 4 courses that equal 79 hours of education to receive your Trainee license.
  • Complete 2,500+ hours of apprenticeship under a mentor over a period of no less than 2 years (typically 3-4 years).
  • Complete 7 more courses for additional 125 hours of education
  • Complete the State Certified Residential Exam
  • More details http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/Boards/Appraisers/

How much experience do you have?

Troy and Matt have more than 25 years of combined appraisal experience. Staff experience more than 7 years combined.

Inspections

Is an appraisal inspection the same as a home inspection?

No. The appraiser is not a home inspector and does not do a full home inspection. The point of a home inspection is to investigate the structure of the home from top to bottom and all areas/surfaces in between. The appraisal inspection will be much less detailed in nature.

What does the appraisal inspection involve? What will they be looking for?

The appraiser will go through all rooms of the home documenting and determining the overall condition and quality ratings, the utility of the home (number of bedrooms, baths, etc.) and noting specific features, finishes and amenities including porches, fireplaces, decks, garages, etc. They will also be taking photos of each room and measuring the improvements. It can be helpful to provide the appraiser with a list of updated and upgraded features from within the last 10 years +/-.

How long will the inspection take?

While each home is different. Generally, the inspection will last around 20 minutes.

Is there any helpful information that I can provide the appraiser?

First, be sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren’t locked, garages are open, etc.). Trim any bushes and relocate any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. Indoors, make sure the appraiser can get to appliances like furnaces and water heaters. To help speed things, along as well as ensure a more accurate report, try if possible to have the following items:

  • Itemized list of recent updating/remodeling with the year that it was completed
  • Survey/Plat
  • Amount of any HOA or community fees (golf course, etc.)
  • Copies of permits for additions
  • Any documents, such as a title policy, with information on encroachments or easements
  • A list of “proposed” improvements if the property is to be appraised “subject-to”

Do I need to clean my house for the inspection?

Typically, no. The appraiser will be analyzing the property not the contents. However, if the property is very dirty or insufficiently maintained to a point where it will affect the condition of the home itself. Then, yes, it would be beneficial.

Appraisal

How long will it take to receive my appraisal?

Under most circumstances, you will receive the appraisal report within 48 business hours of the inspection. It is delivered as a PDF document via email.

How can I pay for my appraisal?

The appraisal can be purchased through our website which uses Paypal. Alternatively, cash or check can be received at the time of the inspection. The report will only be delivered after payment has been received.

How long is the appraisal good for?

The value estimate is for the date of the inspection which is also referred to as the “effective date”. The appraisal report developed for lenders may be used by certain clients (lenders, government, etc.) for lending purposes for up to 6 months after the effective date. Many client specific restrictions are applicable.

What is the difference between an appraisal and a CMA (comparative market analysis)?

Simply, they have nothing in common. An appraisal utilizes comparable sales that can be proven by records. Area and building values are also a priority in an appraisal. The appraisal will also be bound by USPAP guidelines which strictly specify how the report will be created.
The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value. The credentials of the person creating the report is frankly the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Further, the appraiser is an unbiased voice, with no vested interest in the value of a home.

What does market value mean?

Market Value is commonly defined as; “The most probable price (in terms of money) which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby: the buyer and seller are typically motivated; both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their best interests; a reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market; payment is made in terms of cash in United States dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and the price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale.”

What are date of death valuations?

Typically, for state tax liability, disposition of assets under a will or in probate. There are many situations where you might need a real estate appraisal that states an opinion of what the property was worth on a date some time ago, rather than when the appraisal is ordered. For estate tax purposes or disposition of the assets of a decedent, a “date of death” valuation is often required. (Sometimes, the executor of the estate may choose to have the date be six months after the “date of death” thus the same principles apply.) This would be called a retrospective appraisal.

What is a divorce appraisal?

In a divorce, there are many important decisions that must be made, including “Who gets the house”? Usually the house is either sold and the profits are split, or one party can “buy out” the other. In either case, one or both parties should order an appraisal of the property. Divorce appraisals provide a well-supported, professional appraisal that is defensible in court.

Can you do an appraisal for a date in the past?

Yes, this is a Retrospective Appraisal.

Why get a Pre-Listing Appraisal?

A Pre-Listing Appraisal assists homeowners with determining current market value so that they are better educated when deciding on a list price that will return the most value for the home. Working with an appraiser can be particularly beneficial in a fluctuating market to ensure homeowners don’t aim too high or low.

Do you do appraisals for green homes or homes with green features?

Yes. We are certified Earth Advantage Accredited Green Appraisers and have also completed the Appraisal Institute’s Valuation of Sustainable Buildings Professional Development Program.

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