The process of buying or selling a home consists of many different steps. However, for Washington residents who need financial assistance from a mortgage lender, two of the most important steps are appraisals and inspections. When comparing a residential appraisal vs. inspection, what’s the difference? Read on to learn about the key elements, critical factors, and fundamental differences between the two.
Residential Appraisal vs. Inspection: How Do They Compare?
It’s easy to understand why many people confuse a house inspection with an appraisal. After all, they’re both quite similar and consist of the same basic process, during which a qualified expert makes an in-person visit to determine the property’s value. The primary difference lies in which factors influence the assessor’s final price valuation.
What Is a Residential Home Appraisal?
Generally speaking, an official home appraisal is a requirement of most banks and mortgage lenders. As the home will be collateral for the mortgage, lenders use appraisals to protect their interests by preventing overborrowing or lending out more money than the property’s worth.
During the process, a licensed or certified appraiser conducts an objective evaluation of the home’s fair market value. The final determination is based on several factors, including:
- The home’s size, condition, and features
- Its location and neighborhood
- Recent sales of comparable properties
- Current market trends
What Is a Residential Home Inspection?
Similar to the appraisal process, a residential home inspection consists of a qualified professional visiting the property for an in-depth examination. They’ll evaluate the home’s overall condition and look for any damage, issues, or potential hazards. The inspector also assesses all major systems, like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. A thorough examination of the foundation, attic, and structural features will also occur.
Opting for a professional home inspection can help save a lot of time, hassle, and money by pinpointing expensive or dangerous issues. In addition, you can use the information from the inspector’s report to decide whether you should proceed or postpone the sale or if you need to adjust the asking price.
The Importance of Choosing an Experienced Home Appraisal Company
Home appraisals are one of the best ways to protect the financial interests of the buyer, seller, and lender by verifying the fair market value of the property. However, the first step is finding a knowledgeable and reputable home appraisal company that you can trust to provide an accurate determination and avoid under- or over-valuation.
If you plan to buy, sell, or refinance a home in Snohomish, Island, King, or Skagit County, WA, look no further than the professionals at North Sound Valuation. With over 20 years of industry experience, their team has some of the best appraisers in the business. Using advanced technology and tools, they provide superior service, rapid turnaround times, and accurate appraisals for all types of residential homes and properties.
Home inspections and appraisals are fundamentally similar, but not identical. Appraisers consider outlying factors, such as market trends and sale prices of similar properties, whereas inspectors only examine the property’s physical features and systems to determine its value. Ultimately, investing in a professional home inspection and appraisal is an effective way to protect the financial interests of all parties involved, whether buyer, seller, or lender.