As home prices begin to rebound – as much as 9.7 percent this year by some estimates – a home warranty becomes more and more appealing to Bethesda buyers who just gave the seller their last dollar to secure their dream home. An extended home warranty can potentially save them thousands of dollars in post-sale home repairs. I always encourage my sellers to purchase a warranty at the time that the property is listed and I generally write our offers to purchase with the seller providing a home warranty for the buyer – if there isn’t already one in place. That way I know that my client is protected financially – even if the air conditioning stops working in the 100 degree heat on July 4th!
A typical home warranty is a one year policy that protects the current home owner or the new homeowner against the cost of unexpected repairs or the replacement of major systems. Home warranties can be purchased from directly from the warranty company, a Realtor, or a home builder. Home warranties generally can be extended by the homeowner after the first year.
Home warranties provide a measure of financial control for the homeowner when presented with an unexpected repair. Rather than paying for a new heat pump, a homeowner simply pays the standard service deductible on covered components.
The home warranty can provide comprehensive coverage. Many providers provide coverage on appliances and major systems, regardless of the age of the item.
The home warranty company refers the homeowner to pre-screened service providers so that the home owner doesn’t have to go looking for a repair company. Stress is reduced!
The home warranty saves the homeowner from having to dip into the emergency fund during that first year of home ownership.
Not all home warranties are alike, so it is a good idea to read several warranty companies’ coverage and make a selection based on the amenities in your new home. If you have to use the home warranty and the company contests the coverage, be sure to push back. Sometimes the first person you talk to on the phone does not understand the situation fully – but their supervisor will generally be much more helpful. Make sure your Realtor gets you a home warranty at settlement!
If you plan to buy or sell a home or property in Bethesda or Chevy Chase (or further afield in Montgomery County), DC, or Northern Virginia contact Lise Howe and the Lise Howe Group or call us at 240-401-5577. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you in Montgomery County, Washington DC or the entire Northern Virginia Area.