Nobody HAS to have a home inspection, but for buyers it is recommended.
There is a form highlighting the need for a home inspection, buyers review it and sign that they received and understand. See Link to form For Your Protection Get a Home Inspection https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/For-Your-Protection-Get-a-Home-Inspection.pdf
The inspector also needs to be licensed if the contract contingency is to be authentic. If you want Aunt Linda to come, look at the integrity of the house then most times it is allowed but unless she is licensed, she cannot fill the role of home inspector.
The inspector will evaluate the physical condition of the house. Give an idea of the remaining useful life in the utilities and major systems of the house, giving you information regarding what items may need to be replaced or repaired at a future date.
Recently, I was having a discussion with an inspector, and he relates an increase in buyers getting inspections after closing. After they move in, they find things aren’t the way they thought and now they are mounting evidence that they may have been duped.
One of my buyers was having a home inspection, the inspector was checking for carbon monoxide from the furnace with a detection gadget. The reading was so high, the sellers had no idea, they and their small children were immediately removed from the house and could not go back until the furnace was replaced. They were so thankful for the home inspector.
Who else may want a home inspection? Possibly the seller. You can do the preinspection home inspection. If you as the seller wanted to know what was going on with utilities or structures in the house, that you may not have knowledge of already, then this would do the trick. If this was the option you chose, then you may find out that repairs for many of the items they find will need to take place anyways. It can make for a more secure contract to purchase if things are already taken care of.
Most home inspectors will have you there so they can go over upkeep items that you may need to do as time goes on, they will provide a computer report the day of or day after the inspection. Pictures and evaluations are provided. You use this report to go over items with your real estate agent and figure out what may need to be addressed, if any ( remember the preinspection home inspection?) and what would not. This takes place before the contract is finalized, since this is a contract contingency. Because of it’s potential, the home inspection and Radon test requests are well laid out with dates and schedules that must be adhered to maintain purchase contract validity. You can protect your future repair costs to a point for items that you could not see or have expertise to evaluate at the initial showing. But if the house is legitimate and no misrepresentations are made by the seller then it is a solid purchase and your home inspection just confirmed that.