In the Kansas City area, it's quite common to ask the home sellers to purchase a home warranty plan to cover the home for the new buyers. I typically encourage my sellers to offer this right up front. I tell then it's very likely the buyers are going to expect it and it's also an advantage to the sellers to protect them after the sale, should something break.
What if your oven broke as you were getting ready for your Thanksgiving feast? Or if the heat went off on the coldest morning of the year? Let's face it. Bad things happen even to the best home appliances and systems. The question is not "if", but "when." Things just happen and if something breaks right after the new buyers take possession, guess who they're going to be mad at? It's been my experience that if there's a home warranty with an 800 number to call, this drastically reduces the risk to the previous owners.
With the high cost of repairing or replacing major systems such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical - or even your washer, dryer, oven, refrigerator, garbage disposal or other appliances - a home warranty is just the kind of protection against expensive repairs and complications that you need.
The chart below shows an estimated range of retail costs for repairs and replacements. These are the staggering costs that make the protection from a home warranty so important.
REPAIR* REPLACEMENT* Low High Low High CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING $70 $1,000 $1,525 $6,500 HEATING SYSTEM $70 $1,300 $1,500 $4,500 ELECTRICAL $85 $800 $650 $2,000 REFRIGERATOR $70 $545 $550 $1,500 PLUMBING $75 $650 $200 $2,000 WATER HEATER $125 $300 $500 $1,500 RANGE/OVEN $110 $250 $300 $2,500 DISHWASHER $110 $250 $300 $900 WASHER OR DRYER $110 $250 $300 $750 *Includes data from national independent service contractors. Pricing may vary in your geographical area.
The bottom line: You can see how important a home warranty can be and how quickly it can pay for itself. For a cost of around $400-$425 to the home sellers at closing, the buyers can have most major systems fixed for only a $75 service fee. In addition to this, most major carriers will provide this same protection to the sellers during the listing period. With all these benefits at such a low cost, I can't imagine why someone wouldn't agree to this.