Sometimes it seems like we’re being sold warranties on everything. Even when you’re buying seemingly simple things online, you see the pop-up asking if you want an extended warranty. But what about a home warranty when you’re buying a house in Atlanta? Here are some things you should know before deciding on a home warranty.
What is a Home Warranty?
At the most basic definition, a home warranty is a contract that agrees to provide discounted repair and replacement services for a homeowner. What the contract covers is regulated by various state and federal requirements.
Know What You’re Getting Into
The truth is, home warranties can be a blessing or a curse. Always read the agreement carefully since most warranties will have a list of things they won’t cover. And those limitations can depend entirely on how much you spend on the warranty itself.
We’ve had client gets their entire AC compressor replaced. In contrast, another had a technician out on four separate occasions to fix the same issue, making it as expensive as if they had no warranty. And keep in mind that many home warranty companies will cut costs by hiring less experienced contractors. In the end, the work may not be up to the standards you expect.
Perks Provided by Sellers
Our practice is to encourage sellers to provide home warranties for buyers as a part of the offer. It gives some peace of mind for buyers and is an added perk in the selling process. If a seller is offering to buy the warranty for you, that’s great. If not, make sure you know what you’re getting into before signing up.
How to Get the Most Out of a Home Warranty
It’s important to know that a home warranty isn’t a free pass. You can’t just call them and expect that they’ll replace whatever is broken. It’s essential to know how to handle the process and get the most out of your home warranty company.
- Read your contract to ensure the problem is covered
- Watch for “deductibles” or trip charges
- If something breaks, call your home warranty company first
- Be persistent with phone agents and service providers
- Ask if you have the option for a cash payment
- Keep a close eye on older appliances during the warranty period
- Manage your expectations in the process
How to Evaluate Home Warranty Offers
If you are not offered a home warranty as part of the home purchase, you may want to consider your options. Shopping around for a home warranty is a lot like shopping around for car insurance. You want to select a company that’s the best match for your specific expectations.
Always ask these five questions:
- Does a manufacturer’s warranty still cover my appliances?
- What is the cost of the home warranty?
- How can I be clear about what the warranty covers?
- Does the plan repair or replace a broken item?
- What are the payout limits for the plan?
Additionally, using a company that your real estate agent has a relationship with can be beneficial. Many agents will have no problem stepping in to resolve an issue should one arise.
Do you have questions about buying your next home?
Maison Atlanta & Co is a full-service real estate company with over 100 years of combined experience in buying and selling homes in any market. As a member of Compass, Maison Atlanta and Co have innovation and technology at our fingertips to help our clients meet and exceed their real estate goals and expectations. Call us today.