Appraisal Inspection vs. Home Inspection

Sometimes consumers equate the appraisal inspection as a professional home inspection.

Aren’t they the same thing?

The simple answer is no.

  • Home Inspection

A licensed home inspector performs a home inspection.  He is a specialized contractor with expertise in uncovering defects in the structure and materials of various types of properties.

Home inspections are in depth look at the property’s physical condition and usually take several hours to perform a complete inspection. A home inspector must address standards of practice as defined in the Home Inspector License Act [225 ILCS 441].

  • Appraisal Inspection

An appraisal inspection is a visual observation of physical factors that will influence value in the market place to include physical deficiencies, adverse conditions and renovations.

An appraiser conducts a complete visual inspection of the accessible areas of the interior and exterior of the property. The appraiser is responsible for noting in his/her report any adverse conditions (such as, but not limited to, needed repairs; deterioration; or the presence of hazardous wastes, toxic substances, or adverse environmental conditions) that were apparent during the inspection of the property or that he/she became aware of during the research involved in performing the appraisal.

The appraiser is expected to consider and describe the overall condition and quality of the property and identify items that require immediate repair as well as items where maintenance may have been deferred and which may not require immediate repair.  On the other hand, an appraiser is not responsible for hidden or unapparent conditions.

The appraiser is not considered to be an expert in all fields, such as environmental hazards.  In situations where an adverse property condition may be observed by the appraiser but the appraiser is not qualified to decide whether that condition requires immediate repair (such as the presence of mold, an active roof leak, settlement in the foundation, etc.), the property is appraised subject to an inspection by a qualified professional.  In such cases, the client/lender may need to ask the appraiser to update his or her appraisal based on the results of the inspection, in which case the appraiser would incorporate the results of the inspection and measure the impact, if any, on his or her final opinion.

Appraisal inspections usually take approximately 30 minutes to an hour depending on the size and complexity of the property.

Licensed real estate appraisers may not comment on a property’s condition for compensation as a substitute for a home inspection or home inspection report prepared by a licensed home inspector.

As of June 1st 2015 all appraisal reports of a property that is 1 to 4 residential units prepared by a licensed real estate appraiser must include the following statement:

“The comments by the licensed real estate appraiser contained within this appraisal report on the condition of the property do not address “standards of practice” as defined in the Home Inspector License Act [225 ILCS 441] and 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1410 and are not to be considered a home inspection or home inspection report.”

Did I leave anything out or do you want to join the conversation? Let me know in the comments below.

Providing real estate appraisal services since 1999 with an array of experience in property appraisals that includes Divorce, Estate, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeals, Pre-Listings, Pre-Purchase, FSBO and more.

Our coverage area includes Chicago and the bordering suburbs.

For more information call us today at 773-800-0269.

Thanks for reading,

John Tsiaousis

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8 Responses to Appraisal Inspection vs. Home Inspection

  1. Thank you for helping to clear that up John. Many people confuse the home inspector and the appraiser. I just got a call yesterday from someone who was needing an inspection and almost had me do an appraisal instead (until I explained the process).

    • There is quite a bit of confusion as result the State of Illinois now requires specific language in appraisal reports of 1 to 4 unit properties stating an appraisal is not a home inspection. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Great topic. In Washington DC, in our office, we have gotten away from using the word inspection. We schedule “site visits” and we “observe” the property.

  3. Harry says:

    Thanks for sharing the information..

  4. Zera lookose says:

    All in all, it is the good clarification and it’s clear that you put some real thought into that. Thank you.

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