An inspection of any home that you are buying is the thing to do because there are just too many things that can go wrong. Usually, it is set as a requirement in the sales contract, both as an assurance for financing and for insurance. The contract for sale should have a home inspection contingency clause. That simply means, that even though the deal on the house has been agreed to by both parties, there will be an inspection conducted.
The buyer will then have full recourse to reject the deal if for any reason he is not satisfied with the results of the inspection. If there are repairs that need to be made, the seller can then take care of that, or there might be a deal made to reduce the price of the home, or the down payment by the estimated amount of the needed repairs.
It is against the law in most states to knowingly conceal conditions in the house that would be major in nature or those that would cause the home to be unsafe. Of course, many times the seller is simply unaware of conditions that are not up to par.
Typically, the buyer will be given a disclosure statement that lists know defects in the house or property. Then the home inspector is given access to the entire house and property for the inspection.
It is good to have any parties present at the inspection, as everyone agrees upon. In that way, everything is above board and the issues, if any that come up can be discussed on the spot.
Once the inspection is completed, and inspection report will be prepared by the home inspector. This report is usually made the same day, or by the next, if the inspection is conducted late in the day. It can be sent by encrypted email or on a website protected by a password.
If the repairs are extensive, there may have to be some re-negotiating before a final decision can be taken, as there may need to be more details worked out about construction and timing.
A pre-purchase home inspection is really a relief for both the buyer and the seller, as both have their best interest, the selling of the home to occur. Only by agreeing on any deficiencies and agreeing on how to resolve them, will come to terms, so it might as well happen early on in the process.