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Inspection vs. Appraisal

Some buyers confuse a home inspection with a home appraisal. The home inspection is typically ordered bya Buyer once there is a contract for purchasing the property. The Buyer may then negotiate with the Seller based on problems found. Most contracts have a time limitation for any inspections.

 

The mortgage company will require an appraisal of the property prior to lending money. The appraisal is an opinion of the value of the property. The appraiser will use sold property similar to the subject property to determine a reasonable valuation for the property. This value may or may not equal the contract sale price. Most of the time, the valuation will be close to the sale price because the valuation is an estimate of what a ready willing able buyer would pay to purchase the property and the price a willing and able seller would sale the property.

 

Some appraisals have a list of items that must be checked by the appraiser. An appraiser must meet guidelines in order to be approved to make FHA and VA appraisals. Because of the additional work involved, these appraisals often cost more. Although the FHA and VA require the appraiser to evaluate some items, this is not a replacement for a home inspection. For example, the appraiser will not be looking in the attic area for leaks.

 

The home inspector currently has no specific licensing requirements in Georgia. Georgia law requires home inspectors to provide written documents containing information regarding the scope of the inspection, including the structural elements and systems to be inspected, that the inspection is a visual inspection, and that the home inspector will notify, in writing, the person on whose behalf such inspection is being made of any defects noted during the inspection.

 

In essence the appraisal protects the lender and a home inspection protects the buyer.


Written on 2009-07-29


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