This information aids the buyer in decididing if the home or building is worth purchasing or if there are major faults that could affect their purchase decision.
When hiring a property inspector to look over a property, they will check everything that is visible. They are generally not responsible for any internal issues like faulty wiring or plumbing hidden by walls. Each property inspector will have a disclosure listing their responsibilities and what errors or omissions they can or cannot be held accountable for at a later date.
There are other potentially dangerous conditions that a property inspector will look for as well. If desired, they can check for lead paint and most will keep their eyes peeled for asbestos while in an older home.
It is key to know of past damage in the building and if the condition that caused the damage can happen again. A property inspector will look for fire damage, past water leaks and evidence of termites and determine if the conditions are active or dead.
For example, a home may have had termites at one point in history, evident by small holes usually in the basement structures. The inspector will advise if it is an active infestation or one that is long gone based on the age of the holes.
The property inspector will prepare a report at the conclusion of the inspection. Usually it will follow in the days after the inspection and will contain the information they pointed out to the accompanying home-buyer during the inspection itself. This report will give a list of repairs needed and code violations as well as cost estimates for repairs.
Some inspectors will also include pictures and local information that they believe may come in handy for the potential home buyer.