When buying or selling home, you want to make sure that the property is valued fairly and accurately, as well as ensuring that it is in the best possible condition. To do so, a potential home seller and home buyer may hire an appraiser and a home inspector, but while they both examine the condition of your home, their jobs are completely different. Home appraisers and inspectors each play very important functions in setting the stage for real estate sales.
Lenders require an appraisal to make sure they don’t approve loans for more than the properties are worth.
Appraisers are paid by lenders to help them make sound decisions. An appraiser is usually hired to give a statement on the value of the home by analyzing the surrounding market and the size and state of the home. This will give the bank or the lender a proper figure to offer a loan on.
Appraisers attempt to look at a home the way a buyer would, taking into consideration any visual flaws that might discourage a purchase. They also will consider the quality of its neighborhood and proximity to schools. The overall health of the local real estate market also will influence their evaluation.
The appraiser’s focus is on establishing a value for the property. A big part of their job is comparing the seller’s asking price to the price of similar homes that have sold in the in the neighborhood.
On the other hand, a home inspection is used to examine the physical condition of the home, checking the physical structure and look of it.
It’s true that inspectors evaluate many of the same items, but an appraiser normally does not itemize defects or make recommendations for fixing problems. Unlike appraisers, inspectors do detailed, hands-on evaluations. They crawl through attics and into crawl spaces to make sure there are no hidden problems that could become unpleasant surprises after the sale.
The inspector – who is always hired by the prospective buyer or seller – will notify you of any renovations that need to be done to structure of the home. For example, if there is considerable damage under the surface of your walls in your basement, then your home inspector would point that out. You should always get a home inspected before you buy it so you make sure you don’t end up buying a home that requires thousands of dollars in repairs.
Before you hire someone for your home inspection:
If you decide to hire an inspector, be sure to get referrals. Make sure the inspector you hire is knowledgeable about the local real estate market. Finding one who is familiar with your subdivision and builder will ensure more accurate results.
When the inspection is complete, get a copy of the inspector’s checklist and make sure it covers all of the areas you think are important. Ask the inspector to walk you through the home to point out any problems uncovered by the inspection. Ask for recommendations about how to address any defects they identify. These will be important when you return to the seller to bargain for a lower price. A seller who is faced with a negative inspection report often will reduce the price of the home by the amount required to correct the problems.