Inspector and Appraiser Play an Integral Role in the Boston Condo Buying Process

 The inspector and appraiser play an integral role in the Boston condo buying process. Their roles, however, serve two fundamentally different masters. Here are several things you should know about each one

Appraisal – (noun) A defensible opinion of value for a given purpose as of specific date in time.

Who Does the Appraiser Work For?

While the downtown Boston condo buyer pays for the appraisal, the appraiser works de facto for the buyer’s lender. The appraiser’s sole function is to protect the lender’s risk when making a Boston condominium loan. The principal question the appraiser is attempting to answer is: “Is the property worth the agreed upon purchase price?” The lender simply wants to be as certain as possible that its making a prudent investment. Clearly, the valuation can have a huge impact on how the transaction proceeds.

Appraisals Confirm Value for Boston Condo Buyers, but Mostly for Lenders

Boston Seaport District condo  buyers may benefit tangentially with the knowledge of the property’s real value – at least in the opinion of the appraiser. An appraisal gives buyers confidence they aren’t paying more than the property is worth. When you get a copy of the appraisal (you might have to ask for it), read the body of the document and verify the factual data points. If you find errors, bring them to attention of the lender and seek answers.

Appraisers See Property Differently than Buyers

An appraiser will not look at the Boston Midtown condo for sale exactly the same way as buyer does. For example, the spacious below grade recreation room or the extra large parking lot next store or the property’s proximity to the buyer’s place of employment – all “must have” features on the buyer’s bucket list – will have little bearing on the appraiser’s evaluation. The buyer perspective is very subjective and personal, while the appraiser’s perspective is far more objective and standardized.

Appraisals – like it or not – play a vital role in the Boston Midtown condo  buying process. We must learn to work with appraisers effectively or we can expect our transactions to fall through.

Home inspection – (noun) A visual inspection of the accessible areas of a house.

Home Inspections Tell Buyers What they Don’t Know About a House

The home inspection is paid by the Charles River Park condo buyer as it is for the buyer’s benefit, this way they are able to hire the home inspector. Although smart Boston condo sellers are using pre-market home inspections as part of their disclosure process, it is always prudent to get your own inspection. The fundamental purpose of the home inspection is to tell buyers about things they should know about the house, but probably don’t.

What a Home Inspector Does and Does Not Inspect

Home inspectors check most – but not all – the systems, components and appliances in the house. Specialized systems like, water pumps, elevators, pools, spas, alarm and security systems should be evaluated by a specialized trade person. It’s important to note that home inspections are visual only. Inspectors do not do destructive testing. They don’t move furniture, open walls or tear up carpet.

Inspections Give Fuel for Buyers to Renegotiate Price & Terms

Home inspections offer buyers the opportunity to learn about the Beacon Hill condo for sale before they own it. A home inspection could be used as basis for re-negotiation when discovered conditions are unacceptable. Some also use an inspection as the basis for considering future renovations or improvements.

Attend the Home Inspection

To get the most for your money, plan on attending the home inspection personally and asking questions. Inspectors are a wealth of knowledge and are very patient. The rule is that there is no stupid question, so ask away. Remember, the home inspector is there for the buyer’s benefit. Take advantage of their expertise and experience.

Buying a Home in Downtown Boston?

Make sure you work with a Realtor who has experience working with buyers, so they can help you navigate the process and advocate on your behalf. Just as a great inspector is worth their weight in gold, a great buyer’s agent can save you a lot of unnecessary stress, frustration and most importantly, money.

Please callus if you’re in the market for a Boston Beacon Hill condo for sale.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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