A home inspector is a 3rd party group that comes into a home to do a general inspection on behalf of and paid for by the buyer in order to make sure that they are comfortable purchasing that home.
An inspector can do anything to the home, short of cutting into the walls. They will look at systems, water pressure, foundation and roofing, but not things like boundary lines. A good home inspector should be able to give you an idea of what the cost of owning that home would look like (if a furnace only has a year of life left in it, they would let you know so that you knew it was coming). If a major system fails during the first year of ownership, your home warranty would cover it.
If you’re the home owner in this scenario, make sure your home is clean when the inspector comes and make sure that every area- including your attic, basement, and crawl spaces, are accessible.
If they can’t get into the attic, they’ll write that into their report and buyer might be concerned, even if there are no issues in the attic.
Fun tidbit? I recently read through two home inspection reports, one for a new construction home, and one for an older home. The one with the thicker, more detailed notes with more potential issues? The brand new home!
If you have detailed questions about homes inspectors or how to hire a really good one, feel free to contact me!