Now that the real estate market is cooling somewhat, you’ll more likely to find your competitive home sellers offering a seller’s warranty. But what exactly is a seller’s warranty, and how can it help? In short, a seller’s warranty provides added assurance that any repairs to major appliances, plumbing, and other home systems will be covered by the seller within a specified home warranty time period after the home is purchased, excluding a typical deductible of $50-60. Seller’s warranties are always offered by builders of new homes, but they’re becoming increasingly popular as sales tools for older homes, as well. For the seller, the cost is about $300-400, but it can be well worthwhile, especially if it means a quicker sale of their home. There are some real estate companies that offer seller’s warranties at no cost to their sellers during the home’s listing period, such as Home Warranty of America, but the most agencies require their sellers to pay for the warranty if it’s something they’d like to offer potential buyers–with the cost often built into the sales price.
Home Buyer’s Warranty
A similar home warranty can be purchased by buyers, as well. The typical $300-400 cost is similar to what a seller would pay for similar coverage, and a buyer’s warranty covers the same things as a seller’s warranty. The main difference is that a buyer’s warranty typically begins on the date of closing and continues for a one-year period after that. Another difference: the buyer’s warranty can be renewed annually. Besides Home Warranty of America, there are a number of other companies that offer home warranties for sellers and buyers. Those companies include: 2-10 Warranty, American Millennium (which offers a policy to specifically cover hidden structural or pest damage to a home), and Home Warranty Plans, but you’ll probably find others if you do an Internet search or check with your local real estate broker. As is the case with any consumer product or service, it’s always wise to do some research before you decide whether a seller’s or buyer’s warranty is something you want to consider. Then, if you’ve decided that such a warranty is worthwhile in your particular situation, make sure to compare the various programs to see which ones are available in your area, what they specifically cover, their overall cost, the amount of their deductible, anything that might be excluded from the program, and any other variables before you commit. Remember, you can offer the warranty, but if you consider an offer less than full price, you can ask the buyers to provide their own warranty.