What Are The Differences Between an Inspection and an Appraisal?


Home Inspector Writing on a Clipboard

What’s the Difference Between an Inspection and Appraisal?

September 21, 2021


Anybody in the market for a home should be aware of inspections and appraisals. The two are vital pieces to understanding the home buying process as they inform potential home buyers of critical information about the home they’re interested in.

Home Inspections

What is a Home Inspection?

Inspections are comprehensive reviews conducted by licensed professionals. During a review, an inspector will assess the condition of a home via both visual and functional tests. They may test the plumbing and electrical work in addition to checking the state of the roof, overall home structure, exterior, and other features. Upon completion of an inspection, suggestions will be given to the home buyer on what repairs need to be done or features that need to be replaced before a potential buyer closes on the house.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Normally Cost?

Typical inspections in Pennsylvania will run anywhere from $200 to $500 for single-family homes. However, if you need a more in-depth inspection that checks for lead paint, pests, radon, septic system damage, or others, you’ll have to pay more.

How Can I Get Ready for an Inspection as a Home Buyer?

Home inspections are generally conducted by professionals suggested by realtors or real estate agents. While you can search for your own and ask for recommendations from friends or family, it’s safe to trust your agent. However, you can ask the inspectors for references to be sure.

Before an inspection is conducted, you can take time to inspect the home yourself and make a checklist of areas that need special consideration. During the inspection, you should be present taking notes, photos, and asking the inspector questions.

Home Appraisals

What is a Home Appraisal?

Similarly, appraisals are reviews of homes that are conducted by licensed professionals and completed before buyers will close on the home. However, unlike inspections, appraisals are less concerned with what needs fixing and replacing. Rather, appraisals will assess the features, location, size, and floor plan of the property and compare it with similar properties in the area to determine a fair and accurate value of the home.

How Much Does a Home Appraisal Normally Cost?

The cost of an appraisal in Pennsylvania will depend on the size of the home. You can expect to pay between $300 and $600 for an appraisal on a single-family home.

How Can I Get Ready for an Appraisal as a Home Buyer?

The first thing to do before an appraisal is to get the inspection completed. This will make it so you’re aware of how much money you’ll need to put into repairs and replacements. From there, you’ll want to speak with the appraiser to learn how they assess the property.

Like the inspection, you should be in the house when the appraisal is done to make sure they don’t overlook anything that the inspector had previously found which could influence the fair price of the home.

What Do Home Appraisals And Home Inspections Have In Common?

While they both are different processes and serve a different purpose, appraisals and inspections do have a few things in common. They both are beneficial to the homeowner and the lender because they ensure the home is worth what you’re paying and that the property is safe to reside in. Both are completed by a third-party professional who has nothing to gain or lose from the results. This makes it easy for you to feel confident in their findings.

Appraisals and inspections are both critical steps in the home buying process. If you’re looking to purchase a new home, and you need assistance in the process, contact Anne Townes Team today! We’re professional realtors in Chester County, PA who can help you with the inspection and appraisal process.