What is a Home Warranty?
It is a service contract that helps protect homeowners against the cost of unexpected repairs and replacements of covered major systems and appliances that break from normal usage.
What Does a Home Warranty Cover?
- Water heater
- Heating system
- Plumbing system
- Ceiling fans, central vacuum, ductwork
- Range, oven, cook top, built-in microwave
- Dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor
- Electrical system, telephone & doorbell wiring
What it Doesn't Cover
- Doors & Walls
- Items not built-in
- Well pumps
- Washer & dryer
- Air conditioning
- Swimming pools, spas
A warranty normally excludes pre-existing conditions, such as items that are not in working condition when coverage is put in place.
Where can I get One?
In most cases, warranties are available through real estate companies and their agents.
Many times a seller pays for and provides the coverage to the buyer as part of the transaction.
Ask for a "seller provided" warranty when making an offer on a house.
Many buyers purchase them for their own protection.
How Much Do They Cost?
The cost for a basic one year home warranty ranges from $295 to $400.
Optional coverage is per added item, such as pool, spa or well pump.
Each contract calls for a deductible payment or service call fee from the claimant directly to the repair contractor. This fee is usually $35 to $50.
The warranty company picks up the cost of repair above that amount.
Home warranties have proven to be well worth the cost of coverage.
As a buyer, use it as a negotiation tool in a purchase contract.
Why a Home Warranty
Sellers: A Home Warranty provided by the seller will be viewed as a benefit to the buyer. Adding a home warranty to your listing adds confidence and might result in someone purchasing your home over a newer home. Many people are nervous about old appliances and fixtures. Buyers are much more comfortable with a house that includes a one year warranty. The warranty can be promoted in the advertising as a drawing feature of the home.
It protects you should something go wrong after the buyer moves in. If a covered system or appliance repair is needed, the Buyer calls the warranty company, not you!
This after-sale liability protection is well worth the cost of coverage.
Pay at Closing
There is no charge to the Seller until closing, it is typically paid through escrow.
(return to top)