Peace of mind is invaluable, but sometimes it can be hard to sell. Real estate professionals understand the advantages of home warranties – for all parties involved — but it can be challenging to have the discussion with a prospective seller or buyer.
Why include a home warranty with every listing and how does it benefit every party in a real estate transaction?
For starters a home warranty covers the replacement or repair of major systems and appliances in a home such as air conditioning and heating systems, plumbing, electrical, refrigerator, built-in dishwasher and many other home essentials.
For sellers, a home warranty is a marketing tool that agents can use as part of their listing strategy. Payment for the warranty occurs as part of the closing so there are no upfront costs to the seller.
The addition of a home protection plan while their home is on the market can reduce expenses during this time should something break down during the listing period.
Typically, properties listed with a home warranty are more appealing to buyers. Peace of mind that even if something breaks down, it is covered adds to their comfort with the purchase.
Once the home closes, the buyers benefits with coverage for a year and more if they choose to renew. This peace of mind can be invaluable during a period where the cost of moving and resettling can provide for unexpected expenses.
Seller’s agents can leverage the warranty to prevent a delay in the closing. If a major system or appliance encounters a mechanical failure during the listing period, and a home warranty is in place, the repair can be made and the closing proceeds as normal.
BUYER’S AGENTS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A HOME WARRANTY AS WELL IN THESE THREE WAYS:
- The warranty coverage can help the buyer save money in their first year of ownership. If a covered item needs repaired, they only pay the deductible.
- It can be used as a risk mitigating tool should a major system or appliance fail after the home closes. The buyer’s agent simply refers his/her client to the home warranty administrator.
- The most important value a home warranty provides is the opportunity to keep in touch with past client. Most home warranty companies send a communication to the agent when an item has been repaired or replaced. This is the perfect opportunity to reach out, catch-up with clients and ask for a referral.
DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE HOME WARRANTY SCRIPT.
Just as with anything in life practice makes perfect. The first step an agent could take to formulate their script is to make a list of the benefits in their own words. From there, an agent should refine the message to a one to two-minute statement that he or she feels comfortable presenting. For example, for a seller considering a warranty:
“I think it is essential to have home warranty during the listing period. I always suggest one to my sellers as it makes your home more appealing to potential buyers! The benefits are like employing a real estate agent such as myself – it offers you protection if a system or appliance fails and payment of the warranty occurs at closing. We can start the listing coverage immediately.”
Once you have a short script, developed and memorized, it is time to consider the individual seller. In any pitch, personalization is key. Does the person have time or expertise if an item needs to be repaired or replaced? For example, has the heating system been overworked with the many winter seasons in Minnesota? These nuggets of knowledge about the seller and the shape of the equipment in their home can take a home warranty pitch from good to great.
For buyer agents, take the time to educate your clients on the benefits and advantages of using a home warranty. Explain how the warranty fits with the home inspection – an inspection is simply one look at the home where a home warranty provides coverage after closing. Here’s an example: “Your new home is one of the most important investments you’ll make. A home inspection may uncover issues that need to be fixed but you’ll never know what comes next. You don’t want anything to break but if it does, a home warranty offers resources to help you fix any breakdowns and assists in keeping home systems and appliances running smoothly.”
The other point a buyer agent should talk to their client about is how a home warranty together with homeowner insurance provides comprehensive coverage. Homeowner insurance only covers the home and personal possessions in case of fire, theft or damage. Adding a home warranty plan provides repair or replacement coverage for mechanical failures of major systems and appliances.
In the end, everyone wins with home warranty coverage. Incorporating a home warranty into a listing presentation or offering it as a risk management tool for your buyers is not only a best practice of Top Producing Agents, but also offers assurance for future peace of mind. Jennifer Gagne