Inspections & Appraisals

What is the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal?  Why does the buyer of my home need to have both?  We have those answers for you as well as some tips to help guide the process for you as a seller.


What is a home inspection?

“A home inspection is a visual inspection of the structure and components of a home to find items that are not performing correctly or items that are unsafe. If a problem or a symptom of a problem is found the home inspector will include a description of the problem in a written report and may recommend further evaluation.”




Home inspection vs. appraisal

“An appraisal isn't a substitute for a professional home inspection, in fact they have some key differences. The appraiser formulates an opinion of the property's value for the lender, while the inspector educates the buyer about the condition of the home and its major components. The appraiser is primarily focused on the value of the home whereas the inspector keys in on the home's condition with an eye toward both existing and potential future problems.”

From – “Appraisal vs Inspection: What is the Difference” by Dierdre Wollard |May 8, 2013. |Marcie Geffner contributed to this post.



Home Inspection Guidelines for Sellers

To assist the home inspector, and prevent an appraiser’s potential $100 return trip fee to re-inspect, the following guidelines will help ensure a successful home inspection & appraisal.


Home Inspection Guidelines     Seller Guidelines for a Successful Inspection


The Appraisal Process

"Appraisers use a variety of factors in their decision making. They weigh the location of the home, its proximity to desirable schools and other public facilities, the size of the lot, the size and condition of the home itself and recent sales prices of comparable properties, among other factors. Appraisers aren't interested in whether or not the house is clean, but they do notice signs of neglect such as cracked walls, chipped paint, broken windows, torn carpets, damaged flooring, and inoperable appliances.


If the buyer is applying for a mortgage that will be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the appraiser must survey the physical condition of the home and disclose potential problems to the buyer. No such obligation exists for non-FHA mortgages.


If a home receives an appraisal lower than the purchase price there are some ways the purchase can still go through. The seller can reduce the purchase price, the buyer could make a bigger down payment, or the buyer and seller can split the difference between contract price and appraisal price."

From – “Appraisal vs Inspection: What's the Difference?” |By Deirdre Woollard | May 8, 2013 | Marcie Geffner contributed to this post.



What Does an FHA / VA Appraiser Look For?

Most items found on the attached checklist will also be addressed by the home inspector, but the buyer may or may not ask for them to be repaired.  With an FHA, VA or other government backed loan, these items MUST be remedied for the loan to be approved.  It would be good to address these prior to the appraiser coming out.


Click on the attached list to see what items and FHA / VA appraiser will be looking for when viewing your home. 


FHA Appraiser checklist     FHA / VA Appraiser Checklist

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