There are expectations in every home buyer about what they will learn at the inspection. Since all Inspectors should be licensed they should all be the same, wrong! The requirements of state licensing can vary widely. I rely on the inspector’s experience, credentials and how they treat my clients.
Home Inspections are done primarily to educate buyers. An inspector may find a large problem, such as foundation issues, and may recommend further evaluation from a licensed foundation expert. It is the Inspectors job to provide the buyer and the agent with an understanding of the condition of the home. While it allows the buyer to make educated decisions it also suggests home maintenance for the future.
There are many other types of inspections and they are not the same as the Home Inspection. Depending on the state/city where you live you might have termite inspections, or Truth in Housing Inspection’s. These are different from a buyer hiring a professional to provide them information on a home and should not be substituted in any way.
I have used Inspectors that scare the pants off of buyers and I have used inspectors that provide useful information in an educational manner. An inspector (I only used once) had just moved to this area from another state. He inspected a lakeshore home and told the buyers that he would never pay this much for a home. He did not understand lakeshore. An inspector should never comment on anything other than the home and its condition.
Even new construction should be inspected. While having a newly built home inspected the buyer learned that the bathtub drain in the lower level emptied on to the ground underneath it. There were no pipes down there. It would be several months before you started noticing anything. Turns out the builder and the plumber got in to an argument and the plumber left. So, the $350 the buyer spent saved him about $30,000.