What's the Difference Between Home Inspections and Appraisals?

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Today we wanted to speak to you about two real estate processes that often confuse our clients. They are home inspections and appraisals. What are the benefits of each, and how do they differ?

Appraisals are done for the bank. The buyer will pay for this as part of the closing costs. The purpose of the appraisal is to ensure that the bank isn't loaning too much money on the property. It's highly regulated by federal guidelines for mortgage underwriting.

In short, an appraisal determines a property's value, and protects the bank from over-lending. It's unusual to have any problems with this part of the process, unless the home is grossly overpriced.

Home inspections are performed to determine the condition of the property. An inspection gives the buyer a clear picture of the condition of the home. The inspection is typically done within five to seven days after the purchase agreement, and is paid for by the buyer.

The inspector comes in and does a very thorough walkthrough of the property with the buyer, which can take up to three or four hours. Then the inspector submits a 10-25 page report. If there are items of concern that need to be addressed, the buyer and the seller negotiate through their attorneys. Once they come to an agreement, the inspection contingency is completed.

If you have any questions about these two real estate processes, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to ensure that you are a knowledgeable buyer or seller so you make nothing but the best real estate decisions.