As a Realtor, a big part of my job is to anticipate road blocks in a real estate transaction, I strongly suggest my seller-clients to do some homework first because it will save them a lot of time and money if they do. Sellers should have their home inspected prior to putting it on the market. The most typical inspections performed on a house for sale are: a home, roof and a termite inspection. Depending on location, type of construction, even the city where the property is located, there is a possibility that more inspections will be required or mandated by city codes. House reports are good for about 2 to 4 months.
In San Leandro, CA, my hometown, there are no "mandatory" inspections, but other cities around the San Francisco bay have ordinances in place that require the home seller to have the sewer line inspected and repaired prior to closing escrow. Most sewer lines are old and apparently leaking and polluting the bay. Depending on the size and age of the building, these repairs can be very expensive. This is one of many city ordinances affecting the sale of real property.
While selling the house, sellers must tell buyers what type of inspections they have done to the property, what work was done, when and who did it. Was the work done with permits? If the seller has the time, have the inspections done, obtain bids for the work, choose the right contractor for the job, get it done and get the clearances for those reports in writing. Having to deal with all this and with the buyers looking over their shoulders, and demanding that everything be done properly can be very frustrating for the seller, and it probably will cost a lot more than if the seller had done those repairs without the time pressure, and without having anybody else's opinions or their approval!
Home sellers should always have professional and reputable companies do the house inspections and the work, once the reports are in, whatever work needs to be done, must be done by professionals too, and above all, secure the signatures of the final work from the city inspector, this is not the time to perform DIY-type of work.
When the seller does not have the necessary funds to have the work done, the very least would be to have the inspections done, and have an estimate of the cost of the repairs called for in those reports. Then have the buyers sign those reports and then present them along with their offer. In other words, let's put everything on the table. There are only two options for the buyer: You want the seller to do all the work, you'll better be prepared to pay a very good price, or knowing what needs to be done and the cost, you want to take on those responsibilities? then seller should make adjustments on the price in lieu of doing the work. In real estate everything is negotiable!
If home sellers do not have home inspections done, the buyers will... after the offer has been accepted! that is why home sellers should never accept an offer unless they know what the overall condition of the house is, properly documented via the inspection reports. Natural laws dictate that buyers want everything to be in top condition, and all repairs done by the book and pay the lowest possible price. Sellers, however, want to sell the house "as-is", spend no money on repairs and sell at the highest possible price. The fact is that a house on the market that looks good, have documents showing it to be in good structural condition and in no need of repairs, will bring the highest possible price, and will close escrow faster than the one that does not have any inspections done yet.