What Is the Difference Between a Home Inspection and a Home Appraisal?

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When purchasing or selling a home, it’s easy to get home inspections and home appraisals confused. Both are essential steps in the process, but they focus on different things. In addition, you need a qualified team, like ours at Patriot Home Inspections, to complete a home inspection. Keep reading to learn the differences between the two.

What Is the Difference Between a Home Inspection and a Home Appraisal?

  • Primary Purpose. The primary purpose of a home inspection is to find any problems, defects, or safety concerns in the home. It gives the buyer the information they need to decide if they want to purchase the house as-is or negotiate for a better deal. In turn, a seller can also request a home inspection before putting the home on the market to know what its condition is. An appraisal is done to determine how much the property is worth on the open market. Lenders use the assessment to make sure the property is worth enough to support the buyer’s loan request.
  • Experience. Our team is trained to conduct a professional home inspection that focuses on evaluating the structural and mechanical parts of a house. This assessment allows us to determine the home’s safety and functionality. Appraisers are also experienced, but their focus is on how much the property is worth based on factors like its location, recent sales of similar properties, and its general condition.
  • Focus. During your home inspection, our team will look at several parts of the house, including roofing, plumbing, HVAC systems, and more. We’ll cover the entire square footage to look for possible issues. We can also test indoor air quality and check for the presence of mold and radon. Since the appraiser is more focused on worth, they don’t focus on the specific systems of the home.
  • Timing. Most of the time, a home inspection happens after a purchase deal is signed, but before the sale is finalized. Buyers usually include a clause that lets them back out of the contract or talk about repairs if the home inspection finds issues. For an appraisal, the lender usually asks for one after the buyer has applied for the loan. It can happen at different times during the home-buying process, but it usually happens right before the closing.

As you can see, appraisals determine how much a house is worth on the market to protect the lender’s investment, while home inspections look at the house’s state and safety for the buyer. Now that you know the difference, contact our team if you need a home inspection.