A home inspection is a visual exam of the structure and systems of a house. It details problems with the property and if they’re serious enough to prevent a sale. The three main points of an inspection are physical condition, items in need of repair or replacement, and the remaining useful life of major systems.
A report won’t cover defects that are not visible, inoperable systems (e.g., A/C during the winter), or code violations.
Buyers and their Agent should be present at all inspections and, as the seller, you should receive copies of the reports for any completed inspections. Buyers typically are looking for health and safety issues because some lenders may require certain defects to be repaired in order to do the final approval for the buyer's loan.
Expect an inspection to take 2-5 hours (old homes may take longer), and expect charges of $300-$500 depending on size. (Buyer's usually, but not always, pay for this inspection.)
The seller is not required to make repairs, but the buyer can use the report in negotiating (e.g., if a repair is made, the buyer will offer to pay more, otherwise the buyer will bid lower).
As the seller, depending on the market, you can hire an inspector prior to the home going on the market and do recommended repairs. Having the report available to potential buyers will give them peace of mind to know more about the house before they write an offer and will help speed up the inspection period. Your Agent should be able to give you the name of a reliable Home Inspector.