Get a Home Warranty
Some home sellers pay for a home warranty that covers them while their home is on the market and conveys to the buyers after the sale. You can ask your real estate agent for advice about negotiating for the sellers to pay for a warranty or buying one yourself.
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty policy, which typically lasts for one year and is renewable, provides coverage for some of your home’s systems and appliances. In return for the annual fee, the company will cover repair costs and arrange for contractors. You’ll pay a deductible fee and possibly service fees if you need to use the warranty.
Do I need a home warranty?
If you’re buying an existing home, especially one with appliances that are more than four years old, a home warranty can give you peace of mind about paying for unexpected repairs and finding a reliable contractor. If you’re a first-time buyer, especially if you have limited savings, this can be particularly important. If you have plenty of emergency savings, you’re handy or know good contractors, you may not need a warranty. Your real estate agent can also be a good source of recommendations for contractors. If you’re buying a newly built home, structural defects are usually under warranty by the builder for 10 years and other items are typically covered for six months to two years, so you don’t usually need a home warranty.
What should I look for in a home warranty?
To choose a good home warranty, you and your real estate agent should review:
- The home warranty company’s license with your state’s real estate commission
- The fine print – that’s where you’ll find exclusions and limitations
- What’s covered and what’s not
- The coverage limits – your repairs will only be paid for up to a specific level
- Service fees and deductibles
- How quickly service and claims are handled
- How contractors are vetted and what happens if you use your own
- Coverage differences between a basic warranty and enhanced warranty
- Online reviews
The home-buying process doesn’t need to be scary. Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the process and answer your questions on what you should expect from your REALTOR®, where to look for loans, and what to watch out for when closing the deal. Search homes for sale and use our expertise to help you gain the most in today’s real estate market.
Real Estate Glossary
Use this glossary to make yourself more prepared for the professionals and documents you'll encounter in your real estate experiences.