When it comes to finding the home of your dreams, it’s easy to get emotionally attached even before your offer is accepted. In a competitive market like today’s, some buyers wonder whether they should waive the appraisal and inspection in their offer to improve their chances of getting the home. But is that the best move?

Here’s a breakdown of why getting an appraisal and an inspection can potentially save you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road.

The Home Appraisal

The appraisal is a critical step for securing a mortgage on your home. When you apply for a mortgage, an unbiased appraisal – typically required by your lender – is the best way to verify the current value of the home. An appraisal ensures the lender doesn’t loan you more than what the home is worth. As Home Light explains:

“… lenders typically require an appraisal to ensure that your loan-to-value ratio falls within their underwriting guidelines.”

When buyers are competing like they are today, bidding wars and market conditions can put upward pressure on prices. A buyer’s contract price may end up higher than the value of the home. This is known as an appraisal gap.

In the current market, it’s common for the seller to ask the buyer to make up the difference if this occurs. That means, as a buyer, you may need to be prepared to bring extra money to the table if you really want the home.

The Home Inspection

Like the appraisal, the inspection is important because it gives an impartial evaluation of the home. While the appraisal determines the current value of the home, the inspection determines the current condition of the home. As the American Society of Home Inspectors notes:

“Home inspections are the opportunity to discover major defects that were not apparent at a buyer’s showing … Your home inspection is to help you make an informed decision about the house, including its condition.”

If there are any concerns during the inspection – an aging roof, a faulty HVAC system, or any other questionable items – you have the option to discuss potential issues with the seller. Your real estate advisor can help you navigate this process and negotiate what, if any, repairs need to be made before the sale is finalized.

Keep in mind, home inspections are critical because they can shed light on challenges you may face as the new homeowner. Without an inspection, serious and sometimes costly issues could come as a surprise later on.

Bottom Line

The appraisal and the inspection are both important in order to protect your best interests as a buyer. Work with your trusted real estate advisor so you have an expert guiding you throughout the entire process.