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When buying or selling a home, you want to make sure that the property is valued fairly and accurately, as well as ensuring that it is in the best possible condition. To do so, a potential home seller and home buyer may hire a home appraiser and an inspector, but while they both examine the condition of your home, their jobs are completely different. A home appraiser is usually hired to give a statement on the value of the home by analyzing the surrounding market and the size and state of the home. This will give the bank or the lender a proper figure to offer a loan on.
On the other hand, home inspectors will examine the physical condition of the home, checking the physical structure and look of it. The inspector – who is always hired by the prospective buyer or seller – will notify you of any renovations that need to be done to structure of the home. For example, if there is considerable damage under the surface of your walls in your basement, then your home inspector would point that out. You should always get a home inspected before you buy it so you make sure you don’t end up buying a home that requires thousands of dollars in repairs. When hiring both, there are some things to keep in mind to avoid any unnecessary hassle or risk, keeping your home selling or buying process as easy as possible.
Searching for the right appraiser: Choosing the right appraiser may require some research. When you find a bunch that look like potential candidates, speak to all of them to get a feel of how they will do.
Ask a lot of questions: Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Remember, you’re paying them so you shouldn't feel bad for questioning their credentials.
Make sure they show you copies of their credentials: Becoming a certified appraiser requires education and experience. Make them show their proof.
Non-affiliation: While you could ask your lender or bank where to look for an appraiser, the bank typically shouldn't recommend you an appraiser. Therefore, the appraiser should be a third party. However, it is fine to ask a friend or family member if they know a good appraiser.
Choosing a qualified inspector: Just like for an appraiser, make sure you find multiple inspectors who can be potential candidates. Talk to all of them and find the one that is the best fit.
Checking for credentials: An inspector must have education and some hours of experience to be a certified inspector. As well, some inspectors may be a member of a larger association, whether that is at the state or national level. This doesn’t mean that inspectors without a membership are inferior by any means, but if they do have one, you’ll know for sure that they are regulated. Don’t be afraid to ask them for copies of their credentials.
Ask for a sample report: If you can view a sample report of the inspector that would be a great way to see their documentation process.
Once you hire an appraiser and/or an inspector, don’t stop the question asking there. Sure, you think you’ll sound redundant or stupid, but when they are doing their appraisal and inspection they might go through some things that you might not understand. As well, if an inspector tells you need a part of your home to be repaired, make sure you know how you can get that done. Remember, an appraiser values a home whereas an inspector lets you know of the physical condition of the home, so you’ll most likely need to hire both when you‘re looking to buy a home. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to as your real estate professional or REALTOR® for assistance and advice.