Plain and simple, a home appraisal determines the value of the home while a home inspection determines the condition of the home. And since each serves a different purpose, there are a few other differences between an appraisal and inspection:
- Home appraisals are required by a lender. Home inspections aren’t.
- You have to request an inspection yourself while the lender will order an appraisal on your behalf.
- An appraisal may impact your ability to get the loan amount you need. An inspection won’t.
- Appraisers usually only spot things visible to the naked eye, while inspectors will use special devices and training to detect deeper issues.
- Home buyers are encouraged to walk through the home with the inspector during the inspection. Typically, an appraiser will go through the appraisal process alone.
- An inspector will explain and educate during the inspection process. An appraiser will tell you their findings at the end of the process, when the report is completed.
- A home inspection only determines the condition of the home when making the assessment. A home appraisal usually considers the condition of the property, comparable home prices, home features, lot size, area school zones and crime rates.
- The inspector and appraiser have a different set of skills, are trained and certified in different processes and have different areas of expertise.