Although people more commonly think of getting a home warranty when buying a home, it can also be a useful tool for sellers. If a prospective buyer’s home inspection were to uncover issues with a major home system or appliance, the seller may be on the hook to complete these repairs to move forward with the sale of the property. Without a home warranty in place, they may be looking at a significant out of pocket cost to do so.
In most cases, home sellers probably aren’t too keen on investing additional money into the property they are trying to sell, so when comparing the difference between potentially thousands of dollars for a critical system repair and the average monthly rates associated with a home warranty, the cost of a home warranty may seem rather insignificant. But with numerous home warranty providers on the market and each one offering its own coverage options and terms, what is the best home warranty for sellers? Home sellers may want to consider purchasing the best home warranty for their needs from one of the companies included on this list.
- BEST OVERALL: Choice Home Warranty
- RUNNER-UP: Liberty Home Guard
- BEST COVERAGE LIMITS: American Home Shield
- BEST DISCOUNTS: Select Home Warranty
- ALSO CONSIDER: The Home Service Club
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Home Warranty Companies for Sellers
Homeowners who are in the process of trying to sell their home often have some very specific home warranty needs. For example, they may be looking for coverage only on certain systems or they may be looking for coverage they can cancel entirely as soon as their home sells. These are important considerations for sellers to take into account before selecting a policy to ensure the coverage offered will meet their needs. When looking for the best sellers home warranty, customers will want to consider the following factors.
To find a real estate home warranty that fits their needs, homeowners will first need to identify which home warranty companies service their area. Although this may seem like an obvious consideration to make, it can sometimes be easy to overlook, especially if homeowners encounter a limited-time promotional deal that they want to take advantage of quickly.
Ensuring a home warranty company provides service in their area is always an important factor to consider, and it may be even more crucial if the seller wants to purchase a home warranty for their new home with the same company. If the new home is located in a different state, sellers will want to know ahead of time whether the same coverage terms will apply.
Policies and Plans
Selecting a home warranty will require homeowners to compare the various plans and policies offered by different companies. Standard coverage, service add-ons, and other offerings will vary dramatically among providers, so taking the time to comb through these offerings is a crucial step for homeowners to take.
And as they consider the options offered by each company, homeowners will need to remember to look at things through the eyes of a seller. After all, they may not desire the same level of coverage as they might if they were planning to stay in the home.
Average Monthly Rate
One thing home buyers and sellers have in common is a tendency to lean toward the best deal. In this regard, many likely consider average monthly rates to be the most important factor in choosing a home warranty. But the reality is that the average monthly rate only represents part of the overall cost of home warranty coverage.
The average monthly rate is the amount of money the seller can expect to pay in return for their home warranty coverage. This is the up-front cost of coverage, though the seller will also be on the hook to pay an additional fee if a service call is required. Average monthly rates vary widely among providers, so this is an important factor for sellers to examine alongside service fees when making cost considerations.
There are many costs associated with selling a home, so it’s understandable that many sellers interested in home warranty protection may be looking to obtain coverage for as little out-of-pocket expense as possible. These sellers may be happy to know that some home warranty companies offer discount opportunities that provide more ways to save on coverage.
Some companies may offer promotional discounts for new customers, while others may offer a discount for active-duty military members, veterans, or first responders. The examples go on and on, and once again, these offerings will vary among providers, so homeowners will want to be sure to inquire about possible discounts during the vetting process.
While the monthly rate is the price the seller pays for coverage, the service fee is the price the seller pays for using that coverage. When they submit a claim, the seller will be required to pay the service fee in order for the necessary repairs to be completed. Like average rates, service fees can vary dramatically among home warranty companies, so sellers will need to pay attention to the price of each company’s service fees to find the option that works best with their budget.
Homeowners will want to keep in mind that some home warranty companies may offer multiple service fee options. Though cheaper service fees may be appealing, it’s important to note that these fees typically come with higher average monthly rates. On the flip side, agreeing to pay heftier service fees may allow sellers to secure a more affordable monthly rate. Neither option is necessarily better than the other, but homeowners will need to determine whether they prefer to pay more money up front for their coverage or pay more when they need service.
The waiting period on a home warranty is the length of time between when the policy starts and when the policyholder can submit a claim. Typically, home warranty waiting periods tend to last around 30 days, although some companies will waive the waiting period entirely for new customers switching from another home warranty provider.
Depending on how far in advance sellers plan to obtain a home warranty, waiting periods may be particularly important to consider. If the house is already on the market and the home warranty company enforces a 30-day waiting period, the seller will be responsible for the full cost of any repairs that occur during this time frame, which may cause trouble if a buyer’s home inspection uncovers issues with the home’s systems or appliances.
When a home is on the market and a crucial home system or appliance breaks down, the situation is typically urgent, as sellers are eager to put their best foot forward and avoid losing potential buyers’ interest. In this scenario, the last thing the seller wants to do is navigate a completely foreign claims process—especially a slow-moving one.
To avoid these types of surprises, sellers will want to familiarize themselves with each company’s claims process ahead of time. The methods of submitting a claim, average response time, and ease of scheduling repairs are all important considerations.
A workmanship guarantee protects the policyholder in the event that completed repairs fail to resolve the underlying issue. With a workmanship guarantee in place, the seller won’t be on the hook to pay another service fee if additional repairs are required on the same system or appliance. However, this is only true within the time frame of the guarantee, the length of which can vary from days to months, or even years, depending on the company.
Having to pay multiple service fees can quickly drive up the overall cost of coverage, and especially for homeowners in the process of selling their home, these types of expensive, unexpected costs are less than ideal. Because of this, it’s especially important for sellers to pay attention to the workmanship guarantee offered by each company.
Our Top Picks
To identify the best home warranty for sellers, we looked for providers that offer reliable standard coverage and a portfolio of service add-ons at a reasonable price in terms of average monthly rates, service fees, and potential discount opportunities.
Why It Made the Cut: Affordable rates, a quick claims response time, and helpful workmanship and money-back guarantees make Choice Home Warranty a great option for prospective home sellers.
Choice Home Warranty offers a relatively low average monthly rate in exchange for home warranty coverage. Although the specific rate homeowners will receive ultimately depends on the size and location of the home as well as the exact coverage terms selected, these rates indicate that sellers may be able to get a good deal on their coverage by choosing Choice Home Warranty. These relatively low rates are important for homeowners to keep in mind when considering the company’s service fees, which are offered at a flat rate of $85. While customers may be able to find cheaper service rates elsewhere, paying less at the time of service typically means paying more in the average rate. So for sellers looking to pay less up front for their coverage, Choice may be a great option.
When urgent repairs are needed, sellers will be happy to know that Choice promises to begin scheduling repairs within 4 hours of receiving the repair request. This could mean that sellers will be able to set up appointments with technicians on covered home systems and appliances without a long wait. The company’s workmanship guarantee may also help sellers avoid paying extra service fees if follow-up repairs are needed, as service parts are covered under this guarantee for 90 days and labor is covered for 60 days.
Choice also offers its customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, minus any service fees paid, during the first 30 days of the policy.
- Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C. (not available in California)
- Average monthly rate: $51
- Service fee: $85
- Claims process: Online, phone
- Workmanship guarantee: 60 days labor, 90 days parts
- Relatively low $51 average monthly rate
- Quick claim response time within 4 hours of service request
- Relatively long (60 days parts, 90 days labor) workmanship guarantee 30-day money-back guarantee
- No service fee flexibility
Why It Made the Cut: Combine reliable standard coverage with a plethora of service add-ons, including coverage for high-end appliances, and Liberty Home Guard earns its place as a top contender for a sellers home warranty.
Alongside its standard coverage, Liberty Home Guard offers more than 40 service add-ons customers can purchase to expand the scope of their home warranty coverage, which may help sellers customize their coverage to fit their needs. These service add-on offerings include coverage for high-end appliances that require more expensive parts or technicians with specialized skills to make repairs. There are also add-on options for premium refrigerators, ovens, ranges, dishwashers, washing machines, and other appliances. Homeowners with high-end appliances who are trying to sell their house may desire this extra coverage to ensure they won’t need to pay for unexpected repairs out of pocket.
Sellers will want to note that Liberty sets a coverage limit of $2,000 for repairs, which at first glance may seem low compared to what other companies offer. However, this coverage limit is applied per item rather than per term, which means policyholders won’t have to worry about overall repairs exceeding $2,000 as long as each individual repair does not exceed that cost. When repairs are needed, Liberty offers its customers a few different service fee options, with the lowest being $60—a pretty affordable option for a home warranty. This could be appealing to sellers who want to cut down on out-of-pocket costs in the event they need repairs.
- Service area: 48 states and Washington, D.C. (not available in Washington or Wisconsin)
- Average monthly rate: $55
- Service fee: $60 to $125
- Claims process: Online, phone
- Workmanship guarantee: 60 days
- Wide variety of service add-ons
- Professional-grade appliance coverage available
- Low $60 service fee option
- Relatively low $2,000 coverage limit per item
Why It Made the Cut: American Home Shield may offer more to home sellers than just a home warranty through the company platform, which can connect customers to local providers for home services such as carpet cleaning.
When preparing to put their house on the market, sellers often need to utilize a variety of home services. From carpet cleaning to power washing, American Home Shield can make this process simple through the company’s AHS ProConnect platform, which can help sellers quickly find home service providers in their area and schedule the necessary work. And if the house sells quickly and the seller changes their mind about needing coverage, they will be happy to hear that they can cancel their American Home Shield policy within 30 days and receive a full refund, assuming they have not had any repair work completed during that time.
Unlike many home warranty providers, AHS does not enforce a hard cash limit on covered home system repairs. This means customers with a warranty through American Home Shield won’t have to worry about system repair requests being denied solely based on their expected cost. However, sellers will want to note that American Home Shield’s workmanship guarantee only lasts for 30 days, which could be considered a relatively short length of time. This month-long guarantee means that customers could wind up paying an additional service fee if they need to schedule additional work on covered systems and appliances because the initial repairs failed to correct the underlying issue.
When considering AHS, sellers will want to be aware that rates can vary dramatically depending on location, so obtaining a quote specific to their location will be important when making cost considerations.
- Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C. (not available in Alaska)
- Average monthly rate: Varies
- Service fee: $75 to $125
- Claims process: Online, phone
- Workmanship guarantee: 30 days
- No cap on home system repair work
- Additional home services available through AHS ProConnect
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Rates vary significantly depending on location
- Relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee
Why It Made the Cut: From promotional discount opportunities to the free limited roof coverage included with every policy, Select Home Warranty takes several approaches to add extra value to its home warranty offerings.
Select Home Warranty’s standard coverage includes limited roof coverage, which is typically offered only as a service add-on at an additional cost with other companies. This inclusion adds extra value to Select’s warranties and allows sellers to get coverage for certain roof leaks at no extra cost. To file a claim with Select, customers have two options: through the company website or via email. Unlike other companies, Select does not accept repair requests over the phone, which may not be ideal for homeowners who prefer to speak directly with a representative to discuss the issue and resolve any questions. However, sellers focused on submitting their claim as quickly as possible may be more than comfortable with these fast, convenient digital options.
Still, customers will want to be aware that Select Home Warranty representatives may not respond to service requests for up to 4 days if the claim is submitted over the weekend or on a holiday. Although customers may experience shorter response times during the week, this is still a factor worth considering as it may be particularly inconvenient for sellers who need to quickly fix a broken system or appliance before a home inspection.
Select customers who choose to pay up front for a full year’s worth of coverage will be eligible to receive a discount equivalent to 2 months of free coverage. This sizable discount can help sellers who can afford to pay in full save on the total cost of their home coverage. For those who choose to pay month-to-month for their coverage, other discount opportunities may provide other ways to save. Select Home Warranty runs promotional discounts for new customers throughout the year, though the specific savings can vary between promotions.
- Service area: 47 states and Washington, D.C. (not available in Nevada, Washington, or Wisconsin)
- Average monthly rate: $62
- Service fee: $75 to $100
- Claims process: Online, email
- Workmanship guarantee: 60 days
- Free limited roof coverage with every policy
- 2 months of free coverage with annual payment
- Frequent promotional discounts
- No option for submitting claims over the phone
- Relatively slow claim response of up to 96 hours after receiving service request
Why It Made the Cut: The Home Service Club offers some unique coverage options that are not typically included in a home warranty, and as a bonus, these offerings are available across all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Homeowners who have done their research will know that most major home warranty providers service all but a few states. However, The Home Service Club provides coverage to all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with no coverage gaps. The company offers a wide range of coverage options, such as the Comprehensive Plan, which includes coverage for telephone wiring. Homeowners looking to sell an older home with landlines intact may find this uncommon coverage option appealing. The Comprehensive Plan also includes pest control coverage at no extra cost, which could be useful for home sellers if they discover an infestation once their home warranty policy is in place and need to quickly address the issue before selling their home.
Prospective customers considering The Home Service Club will want to note that the company sets a maximum coverage amount of $2,000 per policy term. This limit could be considered restrictive when compared with repair caps set by other providers and could lead to customers paying more out of pocket if they need costly repairs or file multiple claims during the duration of their plan. Sellers will also want to be aware that the company charges a relatively high $55 fee to transfer a sellers’ home warranty to a new homeowner following a sale. Though this cost may seem slight when compared with the other costs associated with selling a home, it can be inconvenient, especially when it isn’t expected. Additionally, not all companies charge a fee to transfer ownership, and those that do may offer lower rates than what sellers will pay with The Home Service Club, so this is an important consideration to make ahead of time.
The Home Service Club offers varying service fees depending on location, and since these fees are not readily available online, prospective customers will need to speak to a representative to get a full picture view of what a policy through The Home Service Club would cost them. However, the company’s unique offerings and nationwide availability make it a solid choice for many homeowners who have a house on the market.
- Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
- Average monthly rate: $60 with annual payments, $63 with monthly payments
- Service fee: Varies
- Claims process: Online, phone
- Workmanship guarantee: 30 days labor, 90 days parts
- Nationwide availability
- Standard pest control coverage
- Standard telephone wiring coverage
- Relatively low $2,000 coverage limit per term
- Service fee varies depending on location
- Somewhat high $55 transfer fee
We gave the award for Best Overall to Choice Home Warranty due to the company’s relatively low average monthly rates, quick response time to service requests, and money-back guarantee. The Runner-Up award goes to Liberty Home Guard because of its numerous service add-ons as well as its low service fee option.
How We Chose the Best Home Warranty Companies for Sellers
To determine the best warranties, we considered each home warranty company’s plan and policy options, including standard coverage and any available service add-ons that may allow home sellers to customize the scope of their coverage. We specifically looked for providers offering add-on options that may appeal to home sellers, such as coverage for high-end appliances or pest control.
Cost considerations were another major factor, so we looked at each company’s average monthly rates, service fees, and coverage limits to get a clear understanding of what total policy costs might end up costing a homeowner. Discount opportunities were also taken into consideration in this regard. Last but not least, we considered the claims process sellers would encounter with each provider, including factors like the average response time and length of the workmanship guarantee.
Before You Choose One of the Best Home Warranty Companies for Sellers
Before taking any additional steps, homeowners planning to sell their home will first need to determine whether a home warranty is worth it for them. Having a home warranty in place can be a lifesaver for sellers if expensive repairs pop up after their home goes on the market. To find the best home warranty when selling a house, homeowners will want to consider several factors in addition to obvious considerations like the company’s coverage options and associated costs. For example, some companies may charge a fee to transfer the home warranty policy from the seller to a new homeowner, while others may offer transfers free of charge, so sellers will want to be aware of this if they are planning to include the home warranty in the sale.
Likewise, sellers who hope to cancel their policy once their home is sold will want to consider each company’s cancellation process and fees, as some may offer a full money-back guarantee if the plan is canceled within the 30 days after its start date. These types of factors can easily impact the cost of a home warranty for a seller and, therefore, homeowners will not want to overlook them.
Cost of Opting for One of the Best Home Warranty Companies for Sellers
The average cost of a home warranty for a seller is around $600 per year nationally, although this cost can vary dramatically depending on the property, its location, and the specific coverage terms selected by the homeowner. Depending on these and other factors, homeowners could find themselves paying as little as $264 to up to as much as $1,425 annually for their coverage.
A seller-paid home warranty will come with all the normal cost considerations, including average monthly rates and service fees, plus a few unique considerations the seller will need to take into account, including the cost of any service add-ons they may need and any costs associated with transferring the policy to a new homeowner.
The Advantages of Opting for One of the Best Home Warranty Companies for Sellers
The best home warranty companies can provide an added sense of security for customers at all stages of homeownership. But for sellers, this safety blanket may be even more appealing if it means selling their home with less hassle and less money out of pocket. At a glance, opting for a seller home warranty comes with a few distinct advantages, including:
- Peace of mind for sellers knowing they won’t have to invest money for repairs on a home they are looking to sell;
- Coverage for any home system and appliance repairs requested following a buyer’s home inspection, provided the warranty was in place for the standard 30-day waiting period before the inspection; and
- A chance to make their home stand out from the competition on the market, as a home with a warranty may be attractive to potential buyers.
When a homeowner is preparing to sell their home, there is a lot to get in order. With so much information to consider, it’s understandable that sellers have questions about how best to protect their home until it’s out of their hands. To address these lingering concerns, homeowners can review some of the most commonly asked questions regarding a home warranty for sellers.
Q. Will my appliance warranties be transferred to the new homeowners?
Manufacturer warranties are not often transferable from the original homeowner to the new homeowner, but most home warranty policies are transferable and can help to cover this gap.
Q. How long does a home warranty plan last on average?
Home warranties are typically purchased annually, though many companies allow homeowners to pay for their coverage monthly and some also offer multiyear plans.
Q. Does a home warranty cover HVAC repairs?
Many home warranties cover HVAC systems, although the extent of coverage will depend on the specific policy and provider.
Q. Who pays for the home warranty plan when selling a house?
Home buyers and home sellers both have the ability to purchase a home warranty. Whether the home warranty is paid for by the seller or buyer will depend on the specific situation.
Q. How much does a home warranty cost on average?
The national average cost of a home warranty is $600 annually, though exact costs will depend on the property, the provider, and the coverage terms selected.
Q. Does a seller need to provide a home warranty to the buyer?
Home warranties are not required when selling a home, although a buyer may end up asking a seller for a home warranty as a condition of the sale.