If you’re a home buyer or seller new to the process, there might be a lot of terms being thrown around that you’re not 100% clear on. Although you might’ve heard them before, the terms appraisal or inspection could be something you need clarification on. HouseMaster Harrisburg is here to help!

First off, appraisals and inspections are similar in that they both require assessments of the house being sold. However, we should make clear from the start that these are two completely separate processes.

Definitions of Appraisals vs. Home Inspections

In layman’s terms, an appraisal identifies the monetary value of the home based on factors such as its size in square footage and the size of the property aswell the real estate market comps (comparables, while a home inspection will determine the condition and functionality of the systems, structure and appliances of the home.

Similarities Between Appraisals vs. Home Inspections

Next, we will outline the similarities between appraisals vs. home inspections:

  • Involve a professional completing a thorough assessment of the property
  • Take place before the contract is signed
  • Should be unbiased evaluations through a third party
  • Buyers pay for both appraisals and home inspections
  • Both benefit the buyer more than seller
  • Cash buyers can choose to waive both if property is being sold “as is” although it is not advised to forgo an inspection

Differences Between Appraisals vs. Home Inspections

The main differences between appraisals and home inspections are as follows:

  • Appraisals are required by lenders; home inspections are strongly recommended but voluntary
  • Inspections involve much more time and a more thorough review of the home
  • Home inspections educate buyers on the condition and potential future issues of the home and its systems while appraisals protect buyers from paying more than the home is worth
  • An appraisal protects the lender, while an inspection protects the buyer
  • An appraisal takes the area the home is located in into consideration, while the inspection focuses solely on the condition of the home


Home inspections and appraisals are similar in that they both need a licensed professional to perform them. However, they have different purposes, and they benefit different parties involved in the home buying process.


Harrisburg home inspectors Dan Ayers and Scott Ayers, like all HouseMaster home inspectors, have extensive training and certifications and are tested annually to meet the industry standards of continuing education, inspection, reporting, and customer service. As part of the oldest and most trusted nationwide home inspection business, Dan and Scott have been able to put their decade long experience in fire and water property restoration and their passion for customer service to good use in the professional home inspection processRequest an inspection today!