The offer you make to the seller should include a clause that says the purchase is contingent on the home passing inspection within a certain number of days and that the inspection must be satisfactory to you. The clause should also state that if the inspection is not satisfactory to you, you can withdraw from the transaction and get your full deposit back, or the seller can make the required repairs.
You should hire a professional to inspect an existing home within a few days after the offer is accepted. Buyers of new homes may require a more rigorous inspection process. A new house may be inspected first after the foundation is completed, then after the framing is installed, and then at the final walk-through.
A home inspector should independently evaluate all the main systems and equipment – electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, hot water, and major appliances. The cost for an existing home inspection will often run from $200 to $300 depending on the size, price and complexity of the home, and also whether the home is new or existing.