What To Know About Inspections and Appraisals

How the inspection and the appraisal are different from each other.

You might’ve heard that you should get an inspection and an appraisal when you buy a home, but what are those exactly? What do they entail for you as a buyer?

If you work with us, we'll schedule an inspection as soon as you get under contract with a seller. All this is meant to do is find any red flags with the property. Our inspector will look at the big-ticket items like the HVAC systems, the electrical, the plumbing, the sewer line, the foundation, and more. We will attend every inspection, and we ask that you do too.

It’s critical that you’re there for the inspection. Not only will it inform you about the home you’ll be living in, but it also acts as an owner's manual. The inspector will go through where your water shut off valve is, how to look at your sprinkler system, and more helpful tips for maintaining the home.

"Both the inspection and the appraisal are essential for the home-buying process."

Once the home inspection is complete, most lenders will require an appraisal. This is a separate process from the inspection, and it comes with a different fee. Your lender will order this appraisal from a third party, and while your agent is allowed to attend, you and your loan officer cannot. The appraisal is meant to confirm that the home is worth at least what you’re paying for it.

Over the past few years, lots of people waived this or agreed to pay the difference if it came in low, but we’re no longer in that type of market. The appraisal can be a great indicator of whether you’re overpaying for a home or not. If it comes in higher, you know you’ll have built-in equity, and if it comes in lower, you can use that as a bargaining tool.

The cost of the inspection will vary depending on the size of the house, but it usually falls between $350 and $500. Depending on the inspector, that could also include a sewer scope and a radon test, which are both highly recommended. The appraisal is included in your closing costs, so you don’t have to pay an extra fee upfront.

Both the inspection and the appraisal are essential for the home-buying process. If you have any more questions about inspections, appraisals, or real estate in general. Feel free to call or email us. We’d love to help.

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