Aside from simply showing buyers around town all day, Realtors have an obligation of ensuring that all of their clients are informed and protected throughout all of their Real Estate transactions.
Personally, I can't give my buyers or sellers an answer to all of the questions that they have regarding a property. Even with thorough due diligence, there is always the unknown that lies within the walls or the mechanicals of a property. This is where myself, and many of my colleagues agree that buyers, and often sellers, should be having a thorough home inspection done prior to making a commitment. The key word being thorough!
Now, I haven't been in the business as long as many so my sample size may be slightly squewed but I have already encountered some home inspectors or third parties (Parents, Aunts, Uncles, etc) that have, in my opinion, not come close to doing a thorough job when going through the house. To make it simple, I have seen home inspections that take 30 minutes and I have seen home inspections that take 2 hours plus.
Regardless, to all of the 2015 movers out there: Be sure to utilize an inspection clause when drafting your offers. And just as importantly, be sure to choose the right inspector... It may just be the best $300 you have ever spent!
[$300 represents a very general price scale of what home inspections charge]