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Why You Should Include a Home Warranty in a Selling Offer

Why You Should Include a Home Warranty in a Selling Offer

Buying a home has never been a stress-free experience. There’s a lot to worry about: financing the house, making sure you’re not buying a lemon, and legally documenting everything. Although there’s not much that can alleviate the stress that comes with buying a home, there are steps that can be taken to minimize that stress and provide peace of mind to buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike. One of those steps is providing a home warranty with a home’s sale. A home warranty protects the buyer of a home from unexpected repairs and replacements, but it may surprise you to learn that is also protects the seller and real estate agent.

A Home Warranty Protects the Buyer

As a buyer, buying a home is often the largest purchase they’ll make in their lifetime. They want to make sure they’re getting a great deal and aren’t stepping into a money trap. This is where a home warranty is often used to provide peace of mind to the buyer.

A home warranty plan covers systems and appliances in a home, like an A/C unit, furnace or oven, when they fail from normal wear and tear. Unfortunately, all systems and appliances within a home have a lifespan. After they’ve been used for a while, their mechanical and electrical parts may begin to fail because they are old. When those systems and appliances fail, it can be costly to have them repaired or replaced. For example, a new HVAC system can cost $5,230 on average. This is when having a home warranty can protect a buyer. If the home’s HVAC system fails from normal wear and tear, the home warranty will repair or replace the unit for a small service call fee. (This fee ranges between $50-$100 depending on the home warranty company.)

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Chad Holmes, Director of Sales at Landmark Home Warranty, said including a home warranty on a home’s sell can calm a buyer’s worries. “What the warranty does is provides them that additional peace of mind, going forward, if something fails, they do have that warranty in place,” Holmes said. “It lets them know if something breaks down from normal wear and tear that it will be repaired or replaced.”

One thing that buyers should be cautious about, however, is knowing what is and isn’t covered in a home warranty contract. Sometimes home inspections will bring up problems found in the home before closing, and the buyer’s agent may tell the buyer it will be all be covered under the home warranty. The problem with that is there’s a good chance the home warranty won’t cover the pre-existing problem. It is imperative to discuss the problems brought up in the home inspection, because the buyer could get the problems fixed with the seller, or get a discount on the house.

Why wouldn’t a home warranty cover a problem brought up in a home inspection? There are two reasons. First, most home warranty contracts begin on the date of closing. Like any warranty or insurance, a contract won’t cover something that was already broken before coverage started. If a buyer knowingly purchases a home with a broken furnace and then calls the home warranty company to repair it, there’s a good chance they won’t, since it was broken when they bought the home. This is just like if you totaled your car, and then tried to insure it and have the insurance pay for the repairs. It’s industry standard that these sorts of pre-existing conditions aren’t covered.

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Second, most home warranties don’t cover abuse or neglect brought on by a homeowner. If the seller has forgotten to change out his or her furnace filter for years and this is noted on the home inspection, the buyer should not expect this to be covered by a home warranty. They should ask the seller to provide some sort of compensation or repair the furnace before they purchase the home.

A home warranty’s main function is to repair or replace systems and appliances that fail from normal wear and tear. If a buyer understands what is and isn’t covered in a home warranty contract, they can better use it to help them offset expensive and unexpected repairs, Holmes said. “Although a home warranty isn’t a coverall, it gives homeowners the ability to take care of things that are unexpected expenses that come as a part of home ownership,” he said.

A Home Warranty Protects the Seller

At this point, it may seem like a home warranty is only beneficial for a home’s buyer. In fact, a home warranty can also protect the seller. Kimberly Cameron, Realtor and Associate Broker at Re/Max Properties West, said she includes a home warranty with every listing.

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When a seller includes a home warranty in a selling offer, most companies offer free listing coverage. This means the seller doesn’t have to pay for anything except service call fees up until the date of closing, Cameron said. At that time, if the buyer wants the home warranty, the seller will pay for their plan.

“If a buyer does not request a warranty, it is cancelled prior to closing with no charge to my client,” she said.

Shelly Walters, a Realtor for Re-Max Ability Plus, said this free listing helps the seller in two ways. Not only can it cover problems brought up by the inspection as long as they’re caused by age and normal wear and tear, but it can save the sellers money. “Since the home warranty covers a seller during the listing, I tell them it is a no lose situation,” she said. “If the sellers don’t choose the home warranty that they want to put with the listing, the buyer may request a much higher value of the home warranty. Therefore, they are also choosing the home warranty price.”

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Not only that, but according to a study done by American Home Shield, a home warranty sells a home faster and for more money. Holmes said this was most likely because a buyer feels more secure in buying a home with home warranty protection. “As the homeowner is looking at these homes, and comparing them, and they see that one home includes a home warranty they feel more comfortable buying it because they know breakdowns will be taken care of,” Holmes said. Bradley Asbury, Realtor/Agent for Century 21 Homestar, said he provides a home warranty on each of his listings for this reason. “There is more to it (psychologically) than just the warranty,” he said. “If you don’t offer it, buyers have almost a fear, that something is wrong, or being hidden. They associate the warranty as you putting your stamp of good faith on the property.”

A Home Warranty Protects the Real Estate Agent

Finally, including a home warranty on a home’s sale also protects a real estate agent. When selling a home, each Real Estate Brokerage must have Errors and Omissions Insurance, which will cover the brokerage and real estate agent if something has gone wrong while selling the home. Suzette Peoples, Broker for People’s Properties, said that most E and O insurance offers discounts for real estate brokerages who include home warranties with their sales.

Holmes said that this is because a home warranty provides an extra layer of protection for the buyer, and the insurance company recognizes that fact. “I think what that does is it shows that there’s something in place that will take care of the homeowner if something does go wrong. And then if the homeowner didn’t have that in place, they may be more likely to talk to the real estate agent,” Holmes said.

Have you used a home warranty? What has your experience been?

Featured photo credit: couple looking on house/luxorphoto via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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