Residential real estate market information for Metro Detroit's Northern Suburbs brought to you by Realtors Maureen Francis and Dmitry Koublitsky of SKBK Sotheby's International Realty. Monthly market statistics for home owners in Oakland County. MLS listings available on our web site:

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Home Warranties--If your home is listed you should have one!

First let me say that I am a born skeptic, and I am frugal. I NEVER buy the extended warranty when I buy a new appliance or other major purchase. In my mind I think that extended warranties are a scam and I would like to assume that the product that I am buying is well enough made that it should last for 3 years or so without me needing an expensive service call or a warranty to pay for the service call. Heck, I have a refrigerator in my basement that I think is about 15 years old and it runs just fine. So for me to state that sellers should have a home warranty seems a bit hypocritical. Yet I always offer them to my seller clients and I suggest that I place an order right when I take the listing. In my opinion, there is really no reason for a seller not to have a warranty. First of all, the warranty is free until closing. If its not negotiated in to the contract, you never pay for it. Second, the seller is covered for lots of things during the listing period, even without purchasing the warranty, and the all the seller pays is the deductible for the service call. Not bad, huh? Last month we had a seller of a newer condo whose stove stopped working the week that her condo went under contract. She was faced with getting the stove fixed or replacing it before close. Fortunately for her, we had ordered the warranty so she paid about $60 to have her stove fixed. Not bad. And if the problem had been worse, that would have been covered too. The warranty can also help if there are negotiations after a home inspection. We sold a home last winter with some older appliances in it, and the buyers were comfortated by knowing that a home warranty would take care of any breakdowns in their first year. We've used First American Home Warranty, and we've been pleased with their services.

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