Should a home warranty be included as part of a real transaction, even if it’s a foreclosure or REO?
The answer, according to many experienced real estate professionals, is a resounding yes.
Many experts agree that home warranties are particularly advantageous for REO and short sell transactions for numerous reasons. When the condition of home appliances and systems is unknown or questionable, a home warranty can add protection from expensive and time-consuming breakdowns for the buyer. Indeed, a home warranty can also be a powerful service component and marketing tool, differentiating properties from others on the market, attracting interest and giving buyers the necessary confidence to proceed with the purchase.
Complete and thorough home inspections on such properties may not be possible without access to utilities, making the condition of home systems even more uncertain. It’s also a well-known, unfortunate fact that owners anticipating foreclosure may stop caring for and maintaining the property, leaving systems and appliances in precarious shape. In fact, buyers express more concern regarding financially distressed properties than any other type of property. A home warranty alleviates many of these worries, and can offer budget protection to the buyer as well as to future resale buyers under the term of the contract. In short, an AHS Home Warranty is one of the best, most cost-effective investments a buyer can make to help preserve the value of an REO property.
In addition to the buyer, there are many benefits that an a home warranty can bring to other parties involved in real estate transactions of financially distressed properties. For sellers, adding a home warranty to the listing may help the property move faster and can help protect the asking price by discouraging downward price negotiation. For REO banks and asset managers, a faster sale can mean reduced inventory carrying costs and expenses. Having a home warranty attached to a listing can alleviate buyer concern and can increase satisfaction with the sale, which can lead to future referrals for home loans on other properties.
Listings that include home warranty protection can be more attractive to buyers. Especially for buyers who are new to the area, this association can bring added reassurance. Banks and asset managers can increase their chances of attracting high-caliber real estate professionals to market REO listings by offering full transactional services, like home warranties.
Home warranty protection offers many advantages for REO real estate agents, as well. In every real estate transaction, a home warranty is viewed as a value added service. By offering a full range of professional services, including home warranties, agents can enhance their perception and reputation as knowledgeable, industry-savvy experts. It’s also important to remember that REO buyers today are the traditional buyers and sellers of tomorrow, and home warranties help increase client satisfaction and build long-term relationships, repeat business and referrals. When soliciting REO business from a bank, it is important for agents to show that they offer a full portfolio of professional services, including home warranties.
Liability is always a concern with any deal, even in REO “as is” transactions. A home warranty can help prevent after-sale problems by reducing agent involvement and lessening agent liability after closing.If something breaks, clients can call the call the home warranty company, not the agent. A home warranty helps protect the seller from many post-sale issues, too.
What if the sellers don’t include a home warranty, and the buyer says he or she can’t afford one? These are the very buyers who may especially need the protection. In states where permissible, agents can choose to pay for the home warranty. Any party involved in the real estate transaction can pay for a home warranty, including buyers, sellers, short sale sellers, banks, real estate professionals and asset managers.
There are many home warranty companies. The company selected should offer different levels of protection, and foremost have a great reputation for responding to complaints and claims quickly and professionally.