The Crosstown Blog

Appraisal Insider: Appraiser Inspections are not Property Inspections
September 10th, 2008 10:35 PM

In order to property evaluate a property for appraisal, the appraiser should know everything possible about it.  This often includes an "inspection" of the subject property.  Inspection can be a misleading term, but it's the most appropriate term for what we do.  When we inspect the property, we are concerning ourselves with the relevant characteristics that affect the value.  This includes just about everything we can see or observe, and that's where the buck stops for appraisers and the door opens for Property Inspectors.  Appraisers are concerned with what items the property has, the apparent condition of the item and the quality of the item - a property inspector is only concerned if the item works.  The appraiser assumes that the item works unless told otherwise.

So if we're in the kitchen, I am going to see if there is a dishwasher, and the dishwasher appears to be in working order, and if the dishwasher is a typical make and model for the neighborhood.  But I never turn on the dishwasher to see if it is working properly.  That is the job of the property inspector.

I once had a homeowner call me back to a property 6 months after the appraisal to see if the property had been damaged in the time after the appraisal.  This was a divorce case, and his wife was occupying the property during the first appraisal.  Now he was about to take possession, and he suspected his wife of pouring concrete down the toilet drains and other destructive things.  I gladly did the inspection, but I did not flush the toilets because that just wasn't standard procedure in the first appraisal.  My damage report was limited to the items I observed the first time. 

There is an exception for FHA appraisals.  The HUD requires us do to a cursory inspection for certain items.  I call this a "common sense" inspection because it is items that a prudent buyer should have done already.  FHA inspection items are to check the hot and cold air flow, hot water, water pressure, flush toilets, check for leaks under sinks, garage door safety stop, electrical outlets and lights, any item damaged or missing that affects the safety, sanitation or habitation of the dwelling.



Posted in:General
Posted by Clay Bonner on September 10th, 2008 10:35 PMPost a Comment

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