Inspections, Appraisals and Surveys
Once the offer is accepted by the Seller, you have a contract and the Due Diligence Period commences. Time is of the essence here so generally, your Realtor will be working to line up inspections at the same time assisting your lender to order the appraisal.
The Home Inspection is not the Appraisal. The Home Inspection is the process where a licensed inspector tours the house and issues a report on the condition of the systems, structure and observes if there are any items that are in immediate need of being repaired. They can inspect for things like mold, radon, termites as well as the quality of the drinking water, septic system, and age of the roof.
Occasionally, engineers or tradespeople will be brought in to provide context or offer advice along with the inspection.
New homes should be inspected as well as older homes as a new home does not equal a perfect home. Local county permit inspectors can overlook items that should be routine and can cause issues if undiscovered.
The Appraisal is the process by which a third-party, hired by your bank, renders their opinion of the value of the house. The receive a copy of the contract beforehand and usually validate the price that’s being offered. On occasion, they will disagree with the price and offer a lower opinion. Keep in mind that in North Carolina, contracts are not required to appraise so the Seller is not obligated to lower the price or re-negotiate to an amount that’s mutually agreed upon. In South Carolina, the Buyer has the option to make the contract contingent on the property appraising.
Surveys are important to look at the boundaries of the property to ensure that there isn’t a neighboring property encroaching or an easement which can impact the use of the property. While not required, it is highly recommended that Buyer’s obtain a new survey with every purchase.