Make Potential Buyers Happy with a Home Warranty

For a few hundred dollars a year, a home warranty offers protection and peace of mind. As a seller, you can increase your chances of selling quickly and at close to asking price by purchasing a home warranty. And your buyers will feel more comfortable knowing they’re protected if an essential part breaks down, particularly if yours is an older home.

Sometimes called a home protection plan, a home warranty is an annual contract that provides for repair or replacement of major items, such as the heating, air-conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. Some warranties also cover major appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, and even swimming pools.

When an item that is covered by the home warranty breaks down, the warranty company will dispatch a service provider to assess the problem. If the needed repair or replacement is covered by the warranty, the provider completes the work. Best of all, the homeowner pays only a modest service call fee (typically around $60).

The cost of a home warranty varies depending on the type of property, the kind of plan (basic or extended), and the warranty company, but it can be a bargain compared to the cost of repairing or replacing an essential component out of the homeowner’s own pocket.

Note that a home warranty usually doesn’t cover items that have not been properly maintained, so the homeowner may have to prove regular maintenance. And it’s most important to ensure the home warranty company is reputable and will pay for covered repairs without hassles.

The 80s Called: Your ‘Dated’ Home Is Trendy Now

We’ve seen it on TV: potential buyers (PBs) horrified by dated bathrooms and kitchens, wall-to-wall carpeting, and floral wallpaper (“The ’80s called; they want their rooms back…”)

“It’s so old-fashioned,” the PBs say, “we’ll have to gut it.”

There must be a lot of gutting going on: according to the most recent American Housing Survey, some two-thirds of owner-occupied U.S. homes were built before 1980, and many of those considerably earlier.

But before you start to tear down walls, consider this: today’s outmoded decor is yesterday’s classic design-widely loved and admired in its day.

Also consider that these homes were mostly built to last-sturdy homes that celebrated a time when “ordinary” wasn’t a dirty word. Call it normcore, meaning bland and unremarkable. Or call it trendy.

Who wants bland and ordinary? Once again, we turn to millennials (the leading edge of whom are now in their mid-30s). Similar to previous generations, these market drivers are looking for something different, and just as they are dressing in normcore fashion, the millennials are turning to normcore neighborhoods and homes that reflect their own values.

They’re searching for balance and normalcy, notes one real estate insider in an RISMedia article titled “Best Normcore Neighborhood to Buy an Unpretentious Home.” Like the Seinfeld TV series, it’s ordinariness as a lifestyle. And it’s now a big trend.

So next time you’re tempted to disparage wallpaper, pink and black bathrooms, and laminate countertops, think back. Remember the Formica kitchen table where you weren’t afraid to do homework or spill your milk. Or the rec room with fake pine paneling and furniture you could put your feet on.

Also remember that laminate counters and linoleum floors are virtually indestructible and are eco-friendly, and that “popcorn” and wallpaper magically cover up unsightly irregularities in ceilings and walls.

So, has your perspective on “dated” houses changed maybe just a bit?