Assuming that an inspection was one of the conditions of your offer (advisable, especially for first time home buyers), you or your real estate agent will call the inspector as soon as the offer is accepted. (It's a good idea to give your inspector a heads-up when you put the offer in.)
Over about three hours, the inspector performs a visual inspection of the home's structure and systems, including:
- Heating and air conditioning
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Equipment or areas that are worn and may need replacing
For a new home, you should bring an inspector when you conduct your pre-completion deficiency inspection. Your lawyer or notary can amend your contract for this.
Plus, it's almost always advisable – especially as a first-time buyer – to make your contract to purchase conditional on a successful home inspection. This clause allows you to back out of the purchase if the inspection uncovers significant flaws in the home.