I agree with Scott, better to have a full inspection first, as long as the seller is willing to fix what is found to be broken.
Must be careful with ordering appraisals, as they can become mandatory disclosure items. In California, if an appraisal contains merely comps and a price opinion given by the appraiser, the appraisal does not have to be disclosed to potential buyers. If the document contains just one mention of a material and disclosable flaw in the property, then the full appraisal must be shared with any potential buyer who asks for it. When first told of this by an appraiser, I thought it was cow manure. But I called our state REALTOR(R) assocation legal hotline and they confirmed it. Now I request price opinions from other brokers to support my estimate before I consider calling in an appraiser.
John A. Souerbry & Associates
Silicon Valley, East Bay, south Napa Valley