Pearl Partner

Appraiser Spotlight

Woody Fincham, Residential Chief Appraiser with Valucentric

“A lot of what we do as green certified appraisers, as competent sustainable evaluation professionals, is to measure demand. There is a strong correlation in demand between listings that had Pearl certification versus those that did not.”

Woody Fincham

Residential Chief Appraiser, Valuecentric

For Woody Fincham, Residential Chief Appraiser with Valucentric, Pearl Certification is setting a precedent in his market. Valucentric is a national real estate valuation firm for commercial and residential appraisers. Woody’s specialty includes a strong and growing inventory of “green” homes and buildings in the Charlottesville market. “Green and sustainable building is very much a lifestyle choice here,” Woody said.

We spoke with Woody about some of the common myths that we hear from appraisers, such as that there are no comps in the area and that solar doesn’t add value. Woody was quick to speak to these misnomers.

Solar and other energy efficiency measures can still be a bit of a learning curve for many in the real estate value chain. “Solar is a difficult thing to appraise, it can make it a complex assignment right from the beginning,” he said. “But we have to understand the property in its totality.”

Woody provides a good analogy. “Some appraisers may look at solar like its a swimming pool. But pools don’t have any value if the consumer doesn’t use it. It’s not a market value, it’s a value in use,” Woody said.

“Solar panels are different,” Woody said. “Most people care about what they’re going to be paying for their utility bills. And if you’re saving money to operate your property, that can be quantified.” For Woody and other appraisers, this helps extract value.

One of the first things appraisers need to ask is, how do I measure demand? Before working with Pearl, an appraiser had to do a lot of legwork to understand a house, including connecting with the solar installer, Woody explains. Real estate agents didn’t always clearly indicate some key performance features, making it more difficult for appraisers.

“A lot of what we do as green certified appraisers, as competent sustainable evaluation professionals, is to measure demand. There is a strong correlation in demand between listings that had Pearl certification versus those that did not,” Woody suggests. On a recent listing, Woody said that was able to show a premium of five percent on a $400,000 home.

“The myth that appraisers don’t have any comps out there, that largely becomes null because it doesn’t exist. When appraisers don’t put value on solar, they actually are indeed giving it a value,” Woody said.

The myth that appraisers don’t have any comps out there, that largely becomes null because it doesn’t exist. When appraisers don’t put value on solar, they actually are indeed giving it a value,” Woody said.

Pearl Certification is a nationally recognized firm that provides third-party certification of high-performing homes across the country. Pearl’s certification makes value visible in homes with upgraded renewable and energy efficient features, and it includes verified information captured in the Appraisal Institute’s Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum. For Woody, this helps counter a common challenge in his market of “greenwashing”.

Woody recognizes that Pearl Certification helps multiple stakeholders, including realtors, appraisers and more.

“Pearl Certification is a great package that underlines the importance of hiring competent appraisers,” Woody said. “It’s a real symbiotic relationship. What Pearl is adding to the market overall is very helpful”

Lastly, we thought it important to mention that Woody doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walks. 

“Bottom line, a well-built and sustainable building is a comfortable building to live in that provides a good quality of life,” Woody said. “I believe so much in the Pearl product that we just put solar on our home where we live.” – Woody Fincham, Residential Chief Appraiser with Valucentric

Pearl partners with the most respected names in energy efficiency and real estate.