What’s the Secret Sauce to Selling Your Home Fast? Purchase a Home Warranty

What’s the Secret Sauce to Selling Your Home Fast? Purchase a Home Warranty

Sometimes the struggle to sell a home can seem like a nightmare come true. There are many factors that go into selling a home and a lot of reasons for why your home might not be selling, from the condition of your home to making sure you price it right, from the start. One of the best tricks to selling a home quickly, however, is one that not many homeowners might think of initially: buy a home warranty.

A recent home sales study found that homes covered by a home warranty or some kind of protection plan sell faster and for more cash than those without.

Specifically, the study found that homeowners that have a protection plan on their home sell their homes 11 days faster than those that are selling without a protection plan.

The study also found that on average, homes sell for about $2,300 more if covered by a plan. Being able to transfer a home warranty to new owners is good incentive for buyers, as it is looked at as adding value to a home; this is definitely a plus for buyers already thinking ahead to the future when they might want to sell. It gives owners a competitive edge in a market that is constantly fluctuating.

Buyers can find peace of mind when purchasing a home covered by a warranty; knowing that everyday breakdowns are covered, whether they are due to defects or even just normal wear and tear, is a huge carrot when coming to a decision on a home to buy. It could be the tipping point between two equally appealing homes.

Protection plans vary, but good ones tend to cover the following systems and appliances:

  • air conditioning
  • heating systems
  • plumbing systems, including faucets and toilets
  • water heater
  • electrical systems
  • central vacuums
  • ceiling fans
  • garage door opener
  • garbage disposals
  • clothing washers and dryers
  • dishwashers
  • freestanding icemakers
  • trash compactors
  • microwave ovens
  • oven ranges
  • refrigerators

More extensive protection plans go so far as to cover things like alarm wiring, pest control, gas leaks and smoke detectors. Some home warranty companies even allow homeowners to add systems or appliances in an a la carte sort of plan. These kinds of plans help homeowners avoid unforeseen and costly repair bills and cut down on lengthy waiting repair periods.

If you’re still struggling to sell your home—or even if you just want a competitive edge—there are other things you can look into doing. Consider the following:

  • Price it right from the beginning. Find out what your home is worth and then list it at 15 to 20 percent under that number. Buyers will come running, and they’ll bid over what you list it at and sometimes even over what it’s worth.
  • Depersonalize your home. The more personal touch your home has, the harder it is for a potential buyer to imagine themselves living there. Pack up at least a third of your stuff and put it into storage.
  • Update your kitchen. Buyers don’t buy a home, they buy a kitchen—that’s how crucial it is that your kitchen look and feel new. And good news is that you’ll get back most of the money you’ll put in. It may cost several thousand dollars to get new countertops, whereas a buyer may knock off $8,000 to $10,000 off the asking price if the kitchen looks outdated.
  • Let prospective buyers sleep over. This one might sound kind of out there, but letting buyers spend the night in a home they are considering buying could seal the deal. Getting the feel for the home and paying attention to what they hear—or don’t hear (think busy street, for example)—could be the deciding factor for a buyer.

So whether you decide to get new kitchen cabinets or go bold and list your home at 20% off the asking price, purchasing a protection plan has the potential to turning your home-selling nightmare into a real-life possibility.

7 Ways to Prepare Your Home Before Leaving on Vacation

7 Ways to Prepare Your Home Before Leaving on Vacation

Whether you are planning a vacation to another city or even out of the country, preparing your home before you leave is a way to ensure the protection of your property and belongings regardless of how long you intend to stay out of town. Preparing your home before you leave for your vacation can be done ahead of time to ensure you are ready to enjoy your vacation without the stress of security at your house at all times.

Notify Your Neighbors and Relatives of Your Departure

Before you leave on any vacation or getaway, be sure to inform of your departure as many neighbors and relatives that you can trust as possible. Informing those you know that you are leaving on vacation is a way to have them monitor your house while you are not available. You can also have a friend or a family member to visit your home periodically while you are on vacation to check up on in, turn on different lights and to ensure that everything is in its place at all times.

Installing a Home Security System

Home protection is essential any time you are thinking of leaving your house unattended while you are out and away on vacation. Installing a home security system is one option to keep your house from potential burglars and thieves. With a home security system, you have the option of installing cameras, motion detectors and protectors on all doors and windows throughout the home itself to set before leaving.

Consider Timed Lighting

Installing a timed lighting system is another way to ward burglars away from making your home a potential target while you are not vacating it. When burglars are casing a home to enter, they often check for lighting changes to determine whether or not the house is occupied. Installing a timed lighting system is a way to ensure you are not using too much electricity while out while still deterring potential criminals.

Notify Authorities of an Extended Absence From Your Home

Any time you are planning a vacation or getaway, be sure to notify the police if you intend to stay out of your home for a week or longer. Notifying authorities that you are not intending to occupy your home for a set number of days may prompt them to check up on your property for you while you are out of town.

Unplug Electronics

Unplug any and all electronics from your home before going on vacation. Unplugging electronics not only reduces the chance of having a fire in your home while you are unavailable, but it also helps to reduce the amount of energy you are using altogether.

Leave Your Home as Normal

Avoid making any changes to the exterior appearance of your home when leaving on vacation, including drawing your curtains. When you close all of the curtains throughout your home, you are more likely to attract a burglar who believes the property is completely vacant. Instead, leave your home as you normally do to avoid suspicious actions.

Avoid Updating Social Media Pages

Avoid updating any social media pages or online websites you have that are public and not for family members and close friends only. When you post that you are away on vacation, it is essentially tipping off potential criminals and burglars who may be in your area while you are out.

Taking the time to prepare your house before leaving on vacation is not only a way to find a relief from stress while you are away, but it also adds layers of protection and security to any home you own. The more people you inform and plans you have in place for your home prior to leaving, the less likely you are to personally become a target or a victim of a burglary while you are on vacation.