A formal property inspection is a normal part of a real estate transaction. Typically, buyers will include an inspection contingency with their offer, once the offer is accepted, the buyer has between 1 and 10 days to formally "inspect" the property.
I always advise my clients to hire a professional home inspector to give them a comprehensive report on the property. The items found on the inspection can be used to walk away from the property if necessary without any damage, negotiate the price down, or at the very least, help plan for major home maintenance needs later.
Below I offer the big ticket items I watch for when representing buyers on a transaction.