Whether you are buying or selling a home, you should have a professional home inspection performed.
A home inspection will look at the systems that make up the building such as structural elements, foundation, framing, plumbing systems, roofing, electrical systems, cosmetic condition, paint, siding etc.
If you are buying a home, you need to know exactly what you are getting. A home inspection, performed by a professional home inspector, will reveal any hidden problems with the home so that they may be addressed BEFORE the deal is closed.
If the seller is not providing inspection reports prior to your making an offer you will want to order inspections for yourself. In that case , make sure the contract has an inspection contingency. Then, hire your own inspector and pay close attention to the inspection report. If you are not comfortable with what he finds, you should end the deal.
Likewise, if you are selling a home, you want to know about such potential hidden problems before your house goes on the market.
Almost all contracts include the condition that the contract is contingent upon completion of a satisfactory inspection. Buyers are going to insist that the inspection be performed professionally, usually by an inspector they hire. If the inspector finds a problem, it can facilitate cold feet and the transaction can collapse. At best, surprise problems uncovered by the buyers inspector will cause delays in closing, and usually you will have to pay for repairs at the last minute, or take a lower price on your home.
Professional inspection before marketing your home uncovers hidden problems and allows correction in advance. Otherwise the buyers inspector will find them, at the worst possible time.