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What’s the Difference Between an Appraisal and an Inspection?

Key takeaways:

  • If you’re planning on buying a home, you’ll likely have to navigate both an appraisal and a home inspection.
  • Appraisals and inspections can tell you more about a home before you commit to purchasing it, and they’re two crucial steps you won’t want to skip.
  • Need help understanding the buying process? Contact Linda Craft & Team at 919-235-0007 for a hassle-free real estate experience!

What You Need to Know About Home Appraisals and Inspections

There are a lot of steps that go into buying a home even after your offer is accepted. And while the process can look different for every buyer, you’ll probably have to conduct both an appraisal and an inspection before you close on your new place.

Want to know the difference between appraisals and inspections? Here’s a quick breakdown of what each step entails, as well as why you shouldn’t skip either one.

What are home appraisals?

Real estate appraisal

An appraisal is an unbiased assessment of a home’s market value. During an appraisal, a professional appraiser will conduct an inspection of the property, and they’ll also compare it to other sold homes in the neighborhood.

If you plan on taking out a mortgage, your lender might require an appraisal before approving you for a loan. This will prevent them from loaning you more than what the home is worth.

Even if your lender doesn’t make you request an appraisal contingency (or if you’re paying in cash), you may want to ask for one anyway. In today’s seller-focused market, prices are higher than ever—the last thing you want to do is overpay for a home if you don’t have to! Appraisals are even more important if you encounter a bidding war that artificially drives up a home’s price.

What is a home inspection?

Home inspection report

Home inspections and appraisals might seem similar, but they actually check for different things. To put it simply, an appraisal determines the value of a home, while an inspection assesses the home’s condition.

During an inspection, a licensed home inspector will take a look at the interior and exterior of a property to check for any issues. Once they’re finished, they’ll draft up a report detailing any existing or potential problems that the homeowner should know before purchasing the home.

It’s important to note that an inspection isn’t a pass or fail test—it’s an overview of the current state, safety, and condition of a home. A good inspector will check the most important aspects of the property (such as the roof, foundation, and HVAC system), but they’ll also make note of minor fixes, too.

What happens after an appraisal and inspection?

Home buyer negotiating

After an appraisal or inspection, you’ll want to review the findings with your agent. If you encounter any surprises—such as a low appraisal value or unexpected repairs—you can try renegotiating the deal with the seller.

While a seller isn’t obligated to lower the price, they may be willing to work with you to prevent the sale from falling through. If you ever have any questions about renegotiating, feel free to ask your agent for advice!

Buy with the Triangle’s Top Agents

Ready to make a move in the Raleigh area? Only work with the best! Contact Linda Craft & Team at 919-235-0007 to turn your real estate dreams into a reality. We’d love to put our 350+ years of combined experience to work for you!

Need to sell your current home before you buy? We can certainly help with that, too!

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