I have a habit of checking all of the bolts and nuts on the hinges of the pull down ladders before I go up. I can not say just how many have loose nuts, or missing nuts, or even missing bolts. IN my tool pouch, I cary 3 or 4 1/4-20 nuts just for this reason. I probably buy a couple hundred of them a year. I have extra bolts I keep in the truck. I probably go through a dozen or so of them per year.
I usually do not do repairs when I am inspecting homes. I may tighten down a hose faucet stem that leaks, or add some screws to a crawlspace access door, but pretty much do not do repairs. However, since I am going to use the ladder to access the attic for inspecting, I want to make sure it is safe for me to climb.
The other pet peeve of mine is how they attach the ladder to the framing. Most of the time, they are not installed according to the manufacturer's specifications.
They are supposed to be secured to the framing with 16d nails or 1/4" lag screws, and NOT drywall screws. They are required to be in all four sides of the ladder (at least 8 fasteners), as well and through the holes in the metal brackets (usually 4 more).
When someone installs one in a hallway, they usually cut through the bottom of at least one roof truss, sometimes two. This is not allowed.
The bottoms of the ladders need to be cut to the proper length and angle, so they fit properly at the bottom when the ladder is open.
If had homeowner's kind of laugh at me when I open the ladder then take out my screwdriver to tighten the bolts. It's kind of like. "What is this goof ball doing now?". They quit chuckling when I pull out a spare nut to replace one that is missing. I have replaced as many as 4 on one ladder.
Now go check yours.