A home inspection is a thorough visual examination to determine the overall condition of a property. A certified home inspector should check all major components (roof, attics, ceilings, walls, floors, foundations, crawl spaces, retaining walls, etc.) and systems (electrical, heating, plumbing, drainage, insulation, exterior weatherproofing, etc.). The detailed results of the inspection should be provided to the purchaser in writing, usually within 24 hours.
A home inspection might show that the home needs major structural repairs that can be factored into your decision to buy (and the price you’d be willing to offer).
You can make your offer conditional upon a home inspection. Like all conditions, this might make your offer less appealing to the seller, but the peace of mind an inspection provides outweighs the pressure to act too quickly.