Many buyers include a clause in their offer making the sale closing contingent upon a satisfactory inspection report. This makes sure that if any unacceptable material defects exist on the property, the buyer has a chance to renegotiate or cancel the sale.
Buyers should not rely solely on the home seller's disclosures, but should hire an independent home inspector to examine the property. Even after having lived in the property, the seller is unlikely to know all its troubles, particularly if the attic or subspace is difficult to access.
Home inspections cover nearly every element in and around home and other structures on the property. Roofing, full exteriors, structural elements, full interiors, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, and all of the components of these are subject to inspection.
Inspections begin on the outside of the property, walking around the exterior of the home. Next, the roof is inspected, then the garage, and finally the inspector goes inside the home.
Once inside, the inspection starts at the top, preferably in the attic, and works down through the house, checking floors, walls, plumbing, stairs, and other elements until the inspector reaches the crawlspace or basement.
A well-written inspection report will discuss problems as far ranging as the heating and cooling systems, electrical systems, plumbing, walls, drainage, basement, foundation, and flooring.