Appraisers and Home Inspectors, Same thing? ... Not Quite
While home inspectors and appraisers both look at houses, must be independent, objective, and impartial, our role in the process of a real estate transaction are very different.
Generally speaking, the primary purpose of a home inspection is to educate the buyer about their new home, so they can make an informed decision on the purchase. The primary purpose of an appraisal is to protect the lender’s assets; this is done by determining the value of a home. The value of a home will be highly dependant upon what other properties in the area are worth, and whether the subject home is in overall better or worse condition than the comparison homes (referred to as ‘comps’) . A home inspector’s client is the buyer, whereas the appraiser’s client is the lender. A home buyer is responsible for finding an excellent home inspector, who's focus is on protecting the interests of the buyer. As for appraisals, the bank will typically decide who does the appraisal, and the buyer has very little to do with it. The majority of the work for a home inspection is performed at the subject home, while an appraiser will spend a relatively small portion of their time at the property. A home inspector spends several hours at a home conducting the inspection, and must also generate a report to be sent to the buyer and agent, generally within 24 hours. An appraiser’s work consists of much more research about all the other properties in the area, and the report must include detailed information about other comps. On average, the on-site portion of an appraisal can be done within 30 minutes. In short, a home inspector determines the condition of the home, whereas an appraiser develops an opinion of value for a home.