Many people only think of the term "homeowner warranty" as it applies to the purchase of new construction. They are familiar with or have at least heard of a "HOW Warranty" or a "Builders Warranty" associated with brand new homes. However, the term can also apply to the buying and selling of existing homes as well.
A home warranty pays repair or replacement costs for the mechanical systems and built-in appliances that may break down in a home. Warranties can be purchased by either the buyer or seller. If the home is new, the builder typically provides two types of warranties; a HOW warranty which covers structural defects for years two through ten and a one year builder warranty for most anything else which goes wrong in the first year after closing. For a "resale property," it's negotiable in the contract, but usually the seller will pay for the homeowner warranty. The coverage period is normally for one year.
There are many companies offering home warranties (sometimes referred to as repair service contracts) and coverage of individual policies can vary widely. Usually, central heating and air conditioning systems, electrical, plumbing and major appliances are covered. It's "important" you read the policy contract closely and understand what is and is not covered. The cost for a one year home warranty typically runs between $300 and $600 depending on the size of the home and the specific types of coverage that are included. In addition to the policy premium, there is normally a deductible of $50 - $100 to pay when making a repair claim.
There are some very good reasons to pay for a home warranty when selling your Florida home. Providing a warranty can help "set" your home apart from the competition. Buyers will appreciate having a warranty and will feel more comfortable about buying your home without worrying about hidden problems. Providing a warranty can even result in a higher price, offsetting the cost. Certainly, it can make it easier for a buyer to make an offer. These benefits make the home warranty an excellent marketing tool.
In addition to marketing advantages, you could avoid getting sued down the road. When a major appliance, or heating and air conditioning system goes bad "shortly" after a home is sold, it's not uncommon for the buyer to blame the seller. Unfortunately, this can, and does, lead to lawsuits. Providing a home warranty with the sale of your Southwest Florida home can go a long way towards preventing these types of after closing problems. In some areas, where lawsuits are particularly common, almost all homes are sold with a home warranty included these days.
If you are buying a Southwest Florida home and it doesn't come with a homeowner warranty, you may want to consider paying for one yourself. The first year after buying a home is a time when most people don't have a lot of cash on hand to cover major problems that might arise. Having a one year home warranty in place can provide peace of mind during this time, and if something "big" does break down, could really save your budget.
How Comprehensive Should the Home Warranty Be?
Check the home warranty policy to see what items are covered. Also check to make sure the policy covers the full "replacement" cost of an item that can't be repaired. Examples of covered items include:
|Electrical Systems||Pool Equipment|
Homeowner Warranty policy coverage will vary by cost and included items. Upgrading from a standard policy a seller might agree to pay for in the sales contract is something the buyer might also want to consider depending upon the age of the home.
For more information on this real estate topic, please feel free to contact us directly. Our associates will be more than happy to assist you in answering any and all questions you may have.
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Questions About Homeowner Warranties?