From a Buyers perspective -
One of the most important financial decisions one will make in their lifetime, is in purchasing a home. The process of looking for the right home can be frustrating. Patience wears thin and at times, some of the original necessities get lost in the process. When a house is found, the perspective Buyer typically performs a walk through with their eye on the Architectural and decorative elements of the home. This walk through may only take 15-30 minutes and then a choice is made as to purchase or not purchase the home.
Let me ask, if you were looking at a used vehicle being sold from an unknown party, and the asking price were say $15K and the car was clean, buffed & waxed and had shiny tires, would you cut a check for the $15K or would you have your mechanic or local Dealer inspect the car before the purchase? Of course you would. It only makes sense.
Even as though one would commonly have a used vehicle inspected, knowing the vehicle is a depreciating asset, purchasing a home is an investment that typically grows in value over time. In order to maximize this investment, prior to the purchase, the Buyer would hire an independent party to inspect the systems and components of the home in order to fully understand the homes condition prior to making the purchase. A professional Home Inspector will perform this service to determine whether all of the essential components of a house is present and performing as they were designed. The Home Inspector should perform this service with the highest obligation to the home and not make attempts to minimize or magnify conditions found for any other purpose.
From a Sellers perspective -
It is well understood that a Seller wishes to obtain the appraised value of the home sale. Most people will confuse the home inspection with the home appraisal. An appraisal may involve an inspection of the property, with a focus on the Architectural and decorative aspects, but the goal of an appraisal is to determine the "fair market value" of a property in its surrounding area, rather than establish its physical condition.
Lets say a Raised Ranch home down the street, 4 months ago sold for $500K and a Seller at the other end of the street who has a similar size Raised Ranch and property, receives an appraisal for the same value, $500K. Now lets add that the home 4 months ago was only 6 years old and well maintained throughout. And the Sellers home up the street is 37 years old and not as well maintained. Although the appearance looks good, some of the systems and/or components need repair or replacement, and one cannot immediately see these conditions because their focus is on the Architectural and decorative elements of the home. So, would you cut a check for the $500K without looking under the hood so-to-speak? Of course not. Again, common sense prevails.
A Real Estate Appraiser will look at the sale of similar homes in the same neighborhood over the past 3-6 months and supply an appraised value of the Sellers home. The Appraiser typically looks at the "form" of the home, the Architectural and decorative elements, and does not concentrate on the systems and components of the home. That's the job of the Home Inspector.
At times, a Seller will purchase a Pre-Sale Home Inspection in order to repair and/or replace any of the systems or components prior to listing thier home on the market. It would be ideal for the Seller to have all systems and components of the home be in excellent shape and properly installed. But this is usually not the case for most home inspections purchased.
Pre-Sale Home Inspections are just as important as Pre-Purchase Home Inspections.