Should You Offer a Home Warranty

Selling your home can be a stressful and difficult time – especially if you are looking for a quick sale. Any extras or potential cost savings that you can offer a seller will increase your chances of a sale, especially in a competitive or slow housing market. As most home sellers know, it’s often necessary to spend a little money on your home to make a bigger profit.

One of the most efficient things you can do is to include a home warranty. This offers a potential buyer added protection and peace of mind during the often costly and stressful process of buying a house. It can also offer convenience and save a lot of money on potentially costly repairs. Most home buyers, sellers, and realtors agree that the home warranty is an important bonus.

Most builders of new homes offer warranties although offering a home warranty may also be a bonus if you are selling an older house. You can take out a home warranty regardless of the age of your house or appliances – this is particularly useful if your appliances are several years old and are perhaps reaching the end of their natural life.

Companies like  can match you up with home warranty companies in your area.

If there are several homes for sale in your neighborhood, including a home warranty may just give you an edge over the competition. Some buyers have come to expect a home warranty and won’t be interested if there isn’t one.

If you are selling your home and including warranty, this is sometimes known as a “seller’s” warranty – this means that any repairs will be covered by the seller during a specific period after the sale has been finalized – usually a year. The seller will cover the cost of the home warranty, although it’s worth the cost involved to ensure a quick sale or to compete in a competitive housing market.

Apart from potentially saving the buyer money, this also offers peace of mind. Many home buyers – especially first time buyers – simply don’t have the extra money to cover costly appliance repairs. And many first time buyers may have little or no experience of running and maintaining a home – the last thing they need is having to deal with costly repairs.

So, a home warranty is undoubtedly good value – but does it help to sell your home? Studies indicate that on average, homes with a home warranty sell up to 27 days faster than those without one. If your home doesn’t sell in the expected period -your warranty still covers you – the seller – against repairs.

Also, including a home warranty with your home means that it will typically sell for around 3% more. This is one reason why it is worth the cost of taking out the warranty, to begin with. Many experienced Realtors suggest offering a warranty and can advise on the cost and coverage. Including a home, the warranty is particularly effective for those selling their home by themselves and with no realtor’s help.

The financial advantage of a home warranty is obvious – if you are selling your home, it can potentially save a buyer a lot of money in the costs of repairing or replacing the major appliances or systems. The typical heating system, for example, costs up to $600 to repair it and anything up to $3800 to replace – compare that to the cost of the average home warranty, between $350 and $600.

If you include a home warranty with your home, you can also point out the fact that it’s convenient as well as cost effective. A homeowner with a warranty only has one telephone number to call if something needs fixing – eliminating the need to keep lots of paperwork just in case it’s needed. Most warranty companies are available around the clock, and the callout fee is around $50.
One word of warning – a home warranty doesn’t cover a pre condition – if you know that you have a plumbing leak in your home and purchase a home warranty to cover it, it doesn’t count. And a home warranty doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t carry out necessary repairs and renovation before showing your home or putting it on the market. The buyer will still want to conduct a home inspection.

If you are selling your home and are still not convinced that a home warranty is a good idea, put yourself in the buyer’s place. Which would you prefer – a home that offers no protection if the dishwasher, air conditioning or heating breaks down – or a home that has these items protected for the next year at no cost to yourself

Here are some things you should consider:

1. Do you need one? The answer to this one is up to you to decide. Do you want to protect your home from the cost of unexpected repairs and replacements? Do you want to pay a small deductible or do you want to cover the entire repair cost from your pocket?

2. What does it cover? most home warranties have pages of fine print, so you need to make sure you read it all thoroughly before you choose. These companies are banking on the fact that you’re not reading all the fine print, so they include all kinds of terms, conditions and additional costs instead of telling you about them up front. That’s why reading the fine print is important.

For example, if you’re looking for an easy-to-understand home warranty that tells you what your warranty covers, you could choose a simple one-page contract that makes warranty coverage easy for you.

3. What is the deductible? It’s important to know how much money is going to come out of your pocket if/when you do need to use your home warranty. The average is about $60, but some companies charge more.

4. What is the annual cost? You want to make sure when you choose the company that you determine ahead of time if the annual cost, plus the cost of the deductible is worth it. If you’re paying an arm and a leg per year, plus a high deductible, and you never end up using your warranty, that’s wasted money.

5. Are you selling your home anytime soon if you are, a home warranty can be a great motivator for a buyer who’s on the fence? Offering a warranty with the sale of your home helps ease a potential buyer’s mind, making him feel better about his purchase.

6. How is the company’s customer service? You want to select a company that has a good customer service team. Otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with a whole lot of hoop-jumping before you finally get your warranty request serviced.

By keeping this list of important deciding factors in mind when choosing, you’ll be able to make the best possible decision for your home.