Offering a sellers home warranty to buyers is another way to possibly help sell a house faster. Don't confuse this with a new home warranty which is very common when selling a new house.
The residential home warranty that we are talking about here is offered on a pre-owned house.
Please be aware that this type of warranty may not be available where you live.
If this home protection is available, it might be a good idea for the sellers, to offer and pay for the policy for a buyer of your house.
It is simply an insurance policy, that covers certain aspects of a property.
You could buy coverage for a 1 year period. This can be used as a negotiating tool to sell your house and give a buyer peace of mind.
For other ideas to help you sell during a soft market, select any of the thumbnail photo links below.
The buyer could then renew that policy for a longer term at the end of the one year.
If you are competing with several very similar houses in your area that are priced relatively the same, offering a home warranty may make the difference whether a buyer chooses your house or your neighbor's house.
The first thing to do is make sure any potential buyers are aware of your offer.
Place the information on all advertising and on your yard sign as a rider perhaps. You might simply state; 3 Year Warranty Available!...or words to that effect.
While we are on the subject, make sure the sellers home warranty is written in your purchase and sales agreement. Again I remind you, always have blank contracts on hand when you are for sale by owner.
Where do you get these? For links to a few very reliable sources for up-to-date, lawyer written contract forms, just click, Contract Forms.
What is Covered?
There is a wide range of options available to you when purchasing coverage. You could buy coverage for the following items if available:
Washer/Dryer, Refrigerator, central vacuum, sump pump, dishwasher, whirlpool bathtub and the electrical system as an example for x amount of time for $xxx.
You might buy an upgrade coverage which covers the above plus perhaps;
Heating system and furnace, hot water heater, all duct work and plumbing system.
How Much will this Costs?
I thought you'd never ask. :)
The cost will vary depending on the company you choose, the items that are covered and the amount of time they are covered.
A rough estimate would be in the $250.00 for a year on the low side, to somewhere in the vicinity of $600.00 on the high side.
The only way to find out is to shop around. You can contact a local company that provides this coverage, or you could check online. You could just type in, sellers home warranty or something similar.
If I was offering this incentive to a buyer, I'd probably offer a 1 year home warranty.
"John and Shirley; Not only is this a great house for a great price, but we are offering you a 1-year warranty on all major appliances and systems!"
Pretend for a moment that you are a buyer of an existing older property. Would that not make you feel more secure and comfortable? Of course.
Again, offering buyer incentives above and beyond the "normal", are usually more important in soft, or buyer markets.
Let's say that you had a house that you could sell for $275,000.00 and you offer a 1-year sellers home warranty that cost $600.00 You would still net out $274,400.00, but if the buyer chose your house because of the coverage, wouldn't it be worth the cost?
Besides, because you used this free, "sell my house" website and sold for sale by owner, you already saved paying a big Realtor commission! Right? Right! :)
When Do I Start Paying?
I would make the sellers home warranty be effective at closing. In other words, give the buyer the full 1 year of benefit. You could just write a check out to the company providing the coverage, or have the funds taken from the proceeds of the sale.
Here is a BIG bonus. We all know that "stuff" happens. You sell your residential property and 3 days after the new buyers move in, the furnace gives a big sigh and quits. Who are they going to blame and who do you think they will want to call? The Sellers! They might bypass you and call their lawyer direct.
Will they be able to sue you for a new furnace? Probably not, but they still will more than likely think you knew something was wrong with the furnace and "hid" that fact.
With a seller's home warranty, who will they likely call? The people that are covering the furnace. Yeah! Much more pleasant.
A Few Words of Caution
So, let's say the hot water tank goes and it is covered. The replacement might cover say, $500.00. The service call is perhaps $75.00. The buyer would pay the $75.00 and the sellers home warranty would cover the $500.00 replacement.
The residential home warranty does not cover items or events covered by house insurance, so don't confuse the two.
You and I worry about potential problems when we purchase a pre-owned property. It therefore only makes sense, that a good solid warranty would put our minds at ease.
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