Before making an offer you should prepare to have it inspected. Use this checklist to learn what to look for and all these areas should be mentioned in your final report.
Look at the bottom of walls and the ceilings. Do you see cracks or shifts in the foundation? Do the same outside. Does the property appear to have proper drainage where it drains away from the house? Do you see any obvious soggy areas?
Check for repairs that will need to be made. Check the gutters, downspouts, loose boards, dangling wires, and if there is asbestos in the exterior material. See if there are any signs of leaks. Is there any interior evidence of leaks on the ceilings and around windows?
Do you notice dampness or if there is adequate insulation? (You may want to leave the crawl space for the professional home inspector to check out).
Do all the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Are the outlets grounded? Are there GFCI grounded outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms?
Check for unusual noises and malfunctions, slow or clogged drains, water stains, and leaking pipes.
Check to make sure all major appliances are in good working condition. Ask the homeowner if there are any manufacturer’s warranties that can be transfered over to the new buyer.
Does it seem to be in good, working condition? How old is the system? Has the system been converted from oil to natural gas? If so, was the oil tank abandoned properly by a licensed company?
If the home has a smell, can you detect what it might be and if it could be fixed? Musty odors could mean a wet basement and apparent problems in a home. The proper professionals can advise on the best ways to deal with the issues.