An Overview of Appraisals

Buying a home can be the most serious financial decision most people may ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, an additional vacation property or a rental fixer upper, the purchase of real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to make it all happen.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.


It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known face in the exchange. Next, the bank provides the money needed to bankroll the transaction. The title company makes sure that all areas of the exchange are completed and that the title is clear to pass to the buyer from the seller.

So what party is responsible for making sure the value of the property is consistent with the amount being paid?   In comes the appraiser.   We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay - or a seller receive - for a parcel of real estate, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A professional Virginia licensed appraiser from Cynthia A Davis (804) 262-5658 will ensure you as an interested party are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first responsibility at Cynthia A Davis (804) 262-5658 is to inspect the property to determine its true status. We must actually view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, living areas, etc., to ensure they really are there and are in the condition a reasonable person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage is accurate and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often includes creating a sketch of the floor plan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would affect the value of the property.

Next, after the inspection, we use two or three approaches when determining the value of real property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, we pull information on local building costs, the cost of labor and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to replace the property being appraised. This figure usually sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers get to know the subdivisions in which they work. We innately understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the neighborhood and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home at hand. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as fireplaces, room layout, appliance upgrades, extra bathrooms or bedrooms, or quality of construction, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable has a storm shelter and the subject does not, the appraiser may subtract the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.
When it comes to knowing the true value of features of homes in Sandston and Sandston, Cynthia A Davis (804) 262-5658 is your local authority. The sales comparison approach to value is commonly awarded the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing approach to value is sometimes used when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this case, the amount of income the property produces is factored in with income produced by comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With the Final Value

Analyzing the data from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the subject property. Note: While the appraised value is probably the strongest indication of what a property would sell for in an open market, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. Prices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property would likely sell for in an open marketplace. The bottom line is: An appraiser from Cynthia A Davis (804) 262-5658 will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.