Most sellers, when they put their property on the market, know that a buyer coming in will probably want a home inspection. What this home inspection is, is an opportunity for the buyer to learn a little bit more about the property, especially the systems, the roof, the big items that could cause problems for them down the road.
A lot of it is educational, but some of it is also to see if the property as it's represented, as it looks to them. There are some things that you may not see when you're touring a beautiful house on a Sunday afternoon, but when an inspector comes in they can say "oh, there are some issues here that are of concern."
That is an expectation for any seller. For a buyer coming in, having a home inspection is a tool for you to learn about the house. You are having a person who is knowledgeable in a whole bunch of general areas, generally not an electrician or a contractor or a plumber, any of that. But they can tell you the basics of how your house functions and what are some things that you should be looking out for.
It's also educational in that you will learn where your keypads are for the alarm system or the heat and the coolling, you'll learn where you water shut-off valve is, should you need that. So it's little things that are really helpful for you as you move into this house and live in it. The inspector will also look at some things that they feel would need to be handled in the immediate future or further down the line.
They can tell you if your water heater is near the end of its life and if it's something that you might want to plan a budget for replacing. They can tell you if your roof is in good condition, if it might need some work done right now or in the future. You can then use this information to go back to your sellers and say, "There are some real points of concern in this home, I love the home, I still want it. But I would like you to either take care of some of these issues or at least address them and let me know if this is something that's been talked about, if there's a plan in place for making these repairs, or if it's an issue you've had in the past and maybe it has been already solved and I'm just seeing the residual effects of it."
The reason you want to go with a true home inspector, somebody who you are paying, who is a professional, is that they will be able to find, for the most part, anything that's going on in the home. If you have your brother, who's a contractor, come in and look, that's great. They can give you an assessment based on their expertise, but it's nice to have someone who is not associated with the deal, has no skin in the game, and can show you what's going on, show you about your house, and update you on anything that you might want to handle in the future.