Inspections vs Appraisals…what’s the diff?

Jo Dueren
Jo Dueren
Published on February 12, 2020

So what’s the difference between an appraisal and an inspection? These two things get confused in my client’s minds all the time, so I thought it would be helpful to do a little video and discuss what the difference is between those two things.

Hi, my name is Johanna Dueren. I am a Realtor in St. Louis, Missouri with Circa Properties and I have been helping people buy and sell property for almost 20 years now and have loved every minute of it. And over the years, there’s been several things that I think are particularly confusing to buyers and sellers, so wanted to just share some of the information that I know and hopefully help people out there understand the process a little better.

Okay, what’s the difference between an inspection and an appraisal? All the time people are getting those two things confused. I have buyers and sellers that are always like, “When is the inspection?” “When is the appraisal?” And a lot of times, they’re actually using the words interchangeably. They are two totally different things.

Here’s one good way to remember it… Your inspection is gonna probably happen before your appraisal. It should happen before your appraisal. Your inspection is when you’re going to hire an independent inspector to come in and inspect everything that they can about the property. We are going to be inspecting the plumbing, the electric. You are gonna probably want to have a sewer lateral inspection done. They are going to be looking at the roof. They’re gonna be looking at the structure. That is when they’re looking at the actual structure of the house, what the house actually is. And depending on your contract, depending on where you’re at in the world, you’re going to have a certain number of days to either move forward with the contract from there to remove yourself from the contract from there or to start a whole second round of negotiations with the other side based on what repairs you want done. So the inspection is the part where we’re making sure that the house isn’t falling down, that the sewer’s not collapsed, that it’s not infested with squirrels in the attic, Which all of those things happen all the time.

Conversely, the appraisal. The appraisal is determining the value of the house. The appraisal is where the bank is going to send somebody that they hire out to the property to make sure, and here’s what’s really interesting about the appraisal. What they’re doing, the bank is actually making sure that their investment in the property is protected. They are making sure that the money that they are loaning you, that the house is actually worth the money. So the appraisal is all about the numbers. It’s all about the money. It’s all about making sure that the bank is protected. It’s making sure that you are protected, that your investment is protected.

So it’s two totally different things and I can’t tell you how often I have clients who call the inspection the appraisal and the appraisal the inspection and there’s a lot of confusion, I think, in people’s minds about what those are.

So, hopefully that is helpful. If you have any other ideas for other videos that I could do to help you understand the process a little better, please let me know. You can comment, you can like, you can subscribe somewhere down here.

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