Home Warranty’s True Value

Don’t let yourself be terribly impressed or comforted by the fact that a seller is offering a fully paid warranty on the home and its appliances. Certainly, having the warranty beats not having it, but don’t let a $400 warranty sway your decision. A seller-paid warranty promises repair or replacement of covered systems during your first year in the home. They typically cover heating, cooling, and electrical systems plus major built-in appliances such as the range, dishwasher, and refrigerator. If something breaks due to normal wear-and-tear during the first year, you simply call their toll-free number to arrange for service and pay a fee of about $50 for the visit.

Most warranties, however, have significant exceptions like leaks from a shower enclosure or broken handles on a microwave or refrigerator may not be covered, for example. Even more important to remember is that the presence of a warranty should not dissuade you from inspecting a home thoroughly and bargaining on a price. Consider the selling point contained in promotional material published by American Home Shield, one of the big warranty companies:”Sell for a higher price because when the buyer has confidence in your home, it discourages downward price bargaining.”