Home Warranty Considerations

Home Warranties are an attractive incentive for prospective buyers. It provides them protection against exorbitant fees associated with major home repairs and the seller pays for the warranty. However, choosing the best warranty company is not as straight forward.

More of these warranty companies exist than I initially thought. The best known home warranty companies are American Home Shield, Old Republic and 2-10 Home Warranty. These companies are commonly referred to as the “Big 3”. Therefore, it reasons that they would have the highest rankings. I did my own research at www. homewarrantyreviews.com and found some pretty scary and interesting information. The ratings are done on a numeric scale from 1 to 10, 10 being perfect, and provided by “consumers”. Surprisingly, many companies I’ve never heard of are ranked much higher than the aforementioned companies.

Now how can this be? Is the ranking skewed by bogus reviews? Are the reviews being generated by competitive companies’ employees and friends? There is no way to prove my fears concerning the reviews are valid. But I ask, if these companies are so great, why have we not heard of them before? When you check out the reviews of home warranty companies on the above mentioned websites, you will see a lot of negative reviews and low scores (mostly 1’s) of the “Big 3” on the first pages that are displayed and on the first few pages displayed for some of the other companies have rave reviews and high scores (typically 5’s). I scrolled to page 3, 4, and 5 and found completely different ratings for the unknown companies (1’s and 2’s) and fairly normal (between 3 and 5) for the better known companies.

One company in particular, National Home Warranty, had exceptional reviews and high marks in early 2009. Go do some research on that company today. The New York Attorney General finally seized their assets and shut them down. They were total frauds. I’ll bet you they changed their name and are back in business defrauding unsuspecting home owners today, right now even. Before you finally pull the trigger to pay for a home warranty, Do your homework first. Check with fellow agents, family and friends and find out if they are satisfied with their home warranty company.
It is imperative to thoroughly research a company before selecting them as your home warranty provider. There are a couple of ways to conduct the search. One of the most popular is to complete an internet search on the subject. Just Google home warranty reviews and use the links that appear to do your research. The first few site links are good places to start. Another resource is to use Consumer Reports as a reference. And finally, ask friends and family members which company provides their home warranty and whether they are satisfied with their service.

As an agent, my personal experience with home warranty companies has been very good. I’ve had experiences with 2-10, American Home Shield and Old Republic. My clients, friends, and family that I’ve counseled to get a home warranty have informed me that they are pleased with their warranty service. There have been instances of delayed repairs and other minor difficulties but all problems have been resolved to the client’s satisfaction. I encourage all of my buyers and sellers to get a home warranty. It gives them a great sense of security and their feedback to me has been very positive.

Bottom line: Although you may not find a perfect company, there are reputable companies with good ratings. Read the warranty contract thoroughly and be sure of what is and is not covered. Remember, most state laws say “Buyer Beware” and provide no protection from unscrupulous people or companies.