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The Inspection and Appraisal Process

Congratulations! The seller accepted your offer to purchase. Now what?

If your sales contract has an inspection contingency built in, you will have a certain number of days to complete the inspections you’ve selected.  Inspections are done to provide you with insight into the home’s condition. They can give you peace of mind that everything is OK, or they can reveal minor or major defects that need addressing. In the state of New Hampshire, the buyer is responsible for hiring the inspector. The listing agent and seller are required to provide reasonable access to the property so that your inspector can complete the inspection in the time frame allotted.

The inspector will look at the condition of the house - from the HVAC system and plumbing - to the roof and foundation – to the electrical system and more. Additional inspections for sewage disposal, water, and air quality, pests, lead paint, hazardous waste, as well as other more specialized inspections, can also be performed if you opt to do so.  If the results of an inspection come back unsatisfactory to you, the seller must be notified of your dissatisfaction within the timeframe set in your sales contract. If you are working with an exclusive buyer’s agent, they can help you determine if you should ask the seller to complete repairs, renegotiate the sales price based on the condition of the home, or elect to terminate your sales contract. 

If you need assistance finding an inspector, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to provide you with several companies to choose from. 

If your sales contract has a financing contingency that includes a property appraisal, your lender will order the appraisal. It usually happens after the inspections have already been completed. The appraisal is always completed by an impartial 3rd party, and in the state of New Hampshire, the appraiser must be licensed. The purpose of a home appraisal is the determine the estimated property value so that the bank knows it is not lending more money than the property is worth. The appraisal will visit the property and make note of all of its features. Then the appraiser will search for similar, recently sold properties to use as comps. The appraiser will adjust or assess any differences in the comps. Once they have compiled all the data, the appraiser will provide the lender with their appraisal report. 

If the appraised value comes in lower than the contract sales price you have a few options. Don’t panic and think you immediately need to walk away from the home of your dreams. Sometimes the appraised value can be a challenge if it comes in too low. Sometimes the sales price can be renegotiated, and sometimes paying the appraisal difference is the right choice (provided you have the funds to do so). If you have an exclusive buyer’s agent working for you, they can assist you with determining what course of action is right for you.

Ultimately, both an inspection and appraisal are done to protect your investment in the home you are purchasing and don’t need to be a complicated or stressful process if you have an exclusive buyer’s agent at your side. Contact me today, to learn how I can help.