Home Warranty Shopping? Here’s What To Look For!

Home Warranty Shopping

Are you a homeowner, seller or maybe even a buyer looking for some additional peace of mind for your investment? If you are, then you possibly should consider adding a home warranty, creating that umbrella for your home. We’ve seen hesitancy surrounding warranty providers in our industry and that’s certainly understandable. There are myths as well as pros when utilizing home warranty companies. It’s important to know what they are before buying a plan. Have a firm awareness of what your needs are so you can make the most of your home warranty.

Below, you’ll find additional insight as well as some tips, if you’re considering making this leap. We spoke with one of our real estate professionals, Florence Avvisato, who spoke of emerging trends to watch for, what factors consumers should have on their radar when choosing a warranty company, not to mention some of the common issues our clients experience.

With financial security becoming of rising concern for many homeowners this year, home warranties are an appealing option to consider. “One trend has been an increase in warranty providers, who are seeking owners who want to ease the risk and have financial security high on their lists,” states Florence Avvisato, REALTOR® with Realty Network Group. These companies are also shifting toward proactive home maintenance programs with numerous choices and varying levels of coverage for property owners to entertain. Another emerging trend in the industry is the increasing use of technology, such as online portals and mobile apps, to streamline the claims process and provide faster service to customers. While this technology has been available before, it’s certainly in wider use now. Having customers’ information in a database helps to engage the proper professionals to the home when they’re needed there sooner than later. Finally, “there has been a shift towards more customizable plans, allowing customers to tailor their coverage to their specific needs and budget,” emphasized Florence. “There’s an expansion of coverage options.” Over the years, there’s been a shift from general coverage to buyer and seller plans to now specific plans focused upon particular systems and appliances in the home. Customers should also be aware of the increasing competition in the home warranty market. As stated above, more warranty providers are entering the market to meet the demand from homeowners, who are starting to recognize the value of coverage lately. More providers in the market has led to more competitive pricing and better (and more specific) coverage options. It’s important for customers to stay informed and compare/contrast different companies to ensure they are getting the best bang for their buck.

When evaluating and choosing a home warranty company, there are several factors that consumers should consider. “At the top of the list, I advise my clients to contact two or more companies,” explains Florence. “They need to put in the time and should research a company’s reputation along with customer reviews to ensure that they have a good track record of providing reliable and efficient services. In this industry, we face scrutiny and praise from our clients too, and this is always an indicator of how we, or in this case, home warranty companies likewise rank and respond to concerns from their customer base.” Consumers should also look at the coverage options and pricing plans offered by the company to determine if they align with their specific needs and budget. It’s not always the case, but some warranty providers have coverage options which can be tailored to unique needs from the owner of the home. It’s important to thoroughly read and understand the fine print of the warranty to avoid any unexpected costs or limitations. “Another crucial factor to consider is the company’s network of contractors and their qualifications, as they will be the ones performing any necessary repairs,” maintains Florence. “If you can attain this list ahead of time, that would be ideal. I believe a company is only as good as the contractors and repair personnel who are coming into your home.” Even though this pursuit is harder to fulfill, consumers should also look into the company’s claim process and customer service to ensure that they will receive prompt and satisfactory assistance when needed. Overall, it’s essential to carefully evaluate all these factors to make an informed decision and choose a reputable and reliable home warranty company.

The biggest beef we hear in our industry with respect to home warranty providers is their inability to operate in an efficient manner whether it’s communication to all parties involved, getting the proper professionals on site or even getting the ball rolling on a filed claim. Issues in delays for service or repairs can dishearten mutual clients of both REALTORS® as well as home warranty suppliers. This can be frustrating for customers who are relying on their warranty to cover unexpected repairs in the home on things they rely upon. “They want to know when they sign up for coverage, they’ll receive good service when a repair of a home appliance or system, which is covered under their plan, fails,” reiterates Florence. “Additionally, some customers may face difficulty in reaching customer service or getting timely responses from the home warranty company. This can lead to further frustration and delays in resolving issues.” Lastly, another common issue is denied claims, where the home warranty company may refuse to cover a certain repair or replacement. This can be due to various reasons, and some of them are legitimate, such as pre-existing conditions or lack of proper maintenance. Again, property owners will want to confirm ahead of time what’s covered and what isn’t under the plan they’re considering. We never want there to be confusion or miscommunication regarding coverage and what’s included in the home warranty plan, causing disappointment and unexpected expenses for our clients. Overall, these issues can make the experience of dealing with home warranty companies a challenging one for sure, but it’s important to rely on your real estate professional, who can guide you throughout this process.