Inspectors Vs. Appraisers
When I tell people what I do for a living, a common response I get is “So you’re, like, an appraiser, right?”
No…… I’m not.
The primary purpose of a home inspection is to educate the buyer about their new home, so they can make an informed decision on their 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 depend on what other homes in the area are worth, and whether the home is in better or worse condition than the comparison homes.
A home inspector’s client is the buyer, whereas the appraiser’s client is the lender. A home buyer handles finding an excellent home inspector, who has only the client’s interests in mind. The home inspector gets paid whether the home sells or not.
As for appraisals, the bank will decide who does the appraisal, and the buyer has very little to do with it.
Home inspections are almost always performed with the buyer. Some home inspectors want the buyer to attend the inspection, while others ask the client to show up at the end. For appraisals, it’s a little more mysterious, as the buyer doesn’t attend the appraisal.
While a majority of the work for a home inspection is at the sellers home, an appraiser will spend a small portion of their time at the property. A home inspector spends several hours at a home doing the inspection, and must also generate a report. An appraiser’s work consists of much more research about all the other properties in the area. On average, the on-site portion of an appraisal can be around 30 minutes.
In short, a home inspector determines the condition of the home, whereas an appraiser develops an opinion of value for a home.