Should I Offer a Buyer Home Warranty?

Posted by Tamara Berryman on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 2:26pm.

You're selling your home and looking for a way to stand out from the competition. After all, there are other homes on the market which are a bit more new than yours and you want an edge, something that will entice potential buyers to tour your property and ultimately to make an offer. You've researched some recently sold homes and found one which offered a buyer home warranty and you'd like to emulate that marketing tactic.

Doing a bit of homework, you start to compare various options and find the prices range between $300 and $600 for a full year of coverage. The new owner would be responsible for paying a small deductible, between $50 and $80 generally, far less than the cost of replacing a central air conditioning system or a water heater.

It only makes sense to get the coverage because buyers will not only find it attractive that any big expenses will be decidedly less; but also, you take the sale of your property seriously. It shows commitment and it will stand out as buyers will wonder why your competition isn't offering the same deal. At the very least, it will raise some level of suspicion; and, at most, it will look like other sellers are just too cheap.

A Seller's Warranty Gives You Peace of Mind

If you think that a home warranty is just part of your marketing strategy, you'd be wrong. It's also your peace of mind, particularly if you purchase it when you first list your home for sale. The reason is simple: things break and big ticket items are expensive. Let's say that you've made needed repairs and brushed on a fresh coat of interior paint. You spread mulch outside and planted colorful flowers. You even went so far as having the home professionally staged. Those things add up.

"Homebuyers naturally love warranties that are included in the price of the home. Often homebuyers have plunked down a lot of their savings and have borrowed heavily to make their home purchase. The last thing they want to think about is the possibility of having to make costly repairs in the first year or two. A warranty means no big repair bills for at least a year." --Zillow.com

Now, your home has been on the market for a couple of weeks and out of nowhere, your cooling and heating system stops working. You don't want to fork out the thousands of dollars to replace it because you're selling the home and won't be living in it much longer. Of course, no one is going to extend a purchase offer for a home with a broken HVAC system. However, if you purchase a home warranty beforeyou list your home for sale, you won't be hit with such a problem. Instead, you'll only pay a small deductible or trade fee, which is a lot less than replacing an entire system.

What's more, you can easily transfer the policy over to the new owner at closing. This is also a safety net because if something does goes wrong after the new owner moves in, like a problem with the circuit box, you might be looking at legal trouble for selling a property without disclosing the safety hazard.

Buyers Embrace a Buyer Home Warranty

From the buyer's perspective, such a policy is a gift that gives them peace of mind. Most people only buy a home once or perhaps twice their entire lives and do not realize how expensive it can be. A buyer takes his or her wallet out several times, so the list is quite long and expensive. The home inspection, the pest inspection, the closing costs, and the down payment all add up quite fast and that leaves the majority of buyers with very little in the bank. These don't include other costs like purchasing new furniture, home decor, and other living necessities.

If something does break down, the warranty will be there, allowing them to escape a very large, unplanned expense; and, it will be there for several months to come.

Purchasing the Right Policy

Of course, you don't want to purchase a policy of buyer's remorse, so be smart about which company you get the policy from. Check out at least three to four companies and compare the costs, as well as the terms and conditions. Look for customer reviews on each one and look up their Better Business Bureau rating. The price shouldn't be the only determining factor and you might find that one policy, although a bit more expensive, has a lot better coverage. You'll also want to be very certain that it transfers seamlessly to the new owner after the date of closing. A home warranty has many benefits and for a very relatively low price, your home will be more attractive, your wallet protected, and the buyer gets peace of mind.

Tamara Berryman
Google

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