When ordering any type of home Appraisal other than a drive-by Appraisal, an interior home inspection is necessary. This is an important part of the Appraisal process as it allows a Real Estate Appraiser to obtain a firm grasp of where a particular property stands in quality and condition compared to other homes within the area. It also allows the Appraiser to make note of any amenities that would lead to a higher or lower valuation.
An Appraiser is Not a Home Inspector
A Real Estate Appraiser is not a Home Inspector. Some may hold such a certification in addition to their Appraiser license, but it is not necessary for the job. The level of inspection carried out by a Home Inspector is excessive from a valuation standpoint. An Appraiser is required to inspect all areas of a home that can be easily accessed and make note of all things that are readily apparent. For the most part, the Appraiser acts upon the assumption that those things that he cannot see for himself are in fact functioning properly. This includes but is not limited to, electrical systems, plumbing, foundation. However, if there are obvious signs that one of these systems may not be performing at maximum capacity, ie; light switches not functioning, water stains on walls or dripping pipes, obvious cracks in the foundation, the Appraiser will make note of such things.
How Long Does it Take?
The actual inspection is quite simple and quick. Depending on the complexity of a property, the home inspection should take anywhere from fifteen minutes and up to an hour to complete. Most Appraisals are non-complex and the inspection time will typically fall on the lower end of that spectrum.
What to Expect
Upon arriving at the residence, the Real Estate Appraiser will begin by measuring the exterior of the property. This is to verify the square footage of the home as is stated in the Assessors records and insure that there are no illegal additions to the property. As the Appraiser is measuring the exterior of the home, he will also inspect the front and rear yards and any structures contained therein. In the finished Appraisal report, it is necessary to include a photo of all important amenities, so the Appraiser will take a lot of photos.
Once the Appraiser has completed the exterior inspection, it is time to enter the property for the interior inspection. The Appraiser will go from room to room, making notes of all characteristics present in the home, including updating and remodeling. Each room will be photographed, sometimes from multiple angles, to be used within the final Appraisal report. The Appraiser will also test electrical switches and faucets to ensure that they are functioning properly.