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
- freestanding icemakers
- trash compactors
- microwave ovens
- oven ranges
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.