Why a Home Appraisal Is Not The Same As a Home Inspection
Many people think that appraisals and inspections are essentially the same thing - but there are some key differences.
Both an appraiser and inspector will walk around the house and take a good look at it, but they're each at the house for different reasons.
The appraiser is looking at the value of the home; while the inspector is looking for any defects with the home that may cause you financial grief later and educates the buyer about the condition of the home and its major components.
An appraisers primary mission is to protect the lender (Fannie Mae, FHA, VA Etc.). Lenders don't want to own overpriced property and that's why the appraisal takes place before the lender grants final approval of the buyer's loan.
With that in mind, it's not surprising that appraisers aren't interested in whether or not the house is clean - but they do notice signs of neglect such as cracked walls, chipped paint, broken windows, torn carpets, damaged flooring etc..
Of course, if the appraiser notices a problem, he won't ignore it. If he spots a leaky sink or some loose wiring, the appraiser may request an inspection or repair if it is a health or safety issue or it may just be taken into account in the valuation process.
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