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Does the buyer or seller pay for a home warranty?

A man shaking hands with his real estate agent


Buying a house can bring lots of surprises — good and bad. One surprise that you don’t want catching you off guard is the need to repair or replace your home’s major appliances. 

Many people make the costly mistake of believing that their insurance provider will cover these types of repair costs or replacements. But homeowners insurance pays for losses or damages incurred from unforeseen occurrences. A home warranty actually complements homeowners insurance by providing the most comprehensive coverage to limit out-of-pocket expenses.​ ​

If you’re unfamiliar with a home warranty, it’s important to do your research first. This article is here to help. We will address the benefits of getting a home warranty as well as who pays for a home warranty.


Benefits of getting a home warranty when buying a house

A home warranty plan generally covers the cost of repairing or replacing appliances and home systems when they breakdown unexpectedly. Regularly maintaining your appliances will give them a longer life, but it still may not prevent issues from occurring. 

With the purchase of an older home, you may inherit older appliances. If you are still using these older appliances, know that there is a higher chance they will break down. 

As part of the home-buying process, the current owner of the property may offer to cover the cost of a home warranty as an incentive for purchasing their home.

What does a home warranty cover?

A home warranty covers the mechanical parts and components of the major appliances and systems in your home. This can include your water heater, HVAC system, refrigerator, stove and more. If you decide to spend a bit more on your plan, you will receive even more comprehensive coverage. Some appliances such as pools, septic systems and spas may be covered, depending upon your service contract.

Cosmetic issues will not be covered by your service contract. Additionally, unusual wear and tear, improper installation or issues prior to your coverage period will not be covered. Cinch Home Services lays out your coverage in their terms and conditions.

What's the difference between insurance and a home protection plan?

Do not be fooled into thinking that your homeowners insurance is the same as purchasing a home warranty.

Your homeowners insurance ensures the value of your house is protected against natural disasters. Your home’s structure and your personal belongings are covered in your homeowners insurance. As a homeowner, homeowners insurance is required by your mortgage lender.

Your home warranty is a service contract between you and a home service company. The home warranty covers the repair or replacement of your appliances and home systems that break down due to wear and tear.

What is considered normal wear and tear?

Homeowners use a variety of systems and appliances every day, including refrigerators, plumbing, air conditioners and more. Over time, these items deteriorate naturally with normal use or aging, which is usually referred to as “wear and tear.”

A home warranty covers systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. It is designed to cover those items when they become unusable from everyday use and aging including rust, corrosion, and chemical or sediment buildup if they occur. Failures caused by accidents, damage or abuse are different from normal wear and tear and are not covered by a home warranty.

Who typically pays for a home warranty during a real estate sale?

A first-time home buyer is especially vulnerable to mounting repair expenses. With depleted savings, no knowledge of the age of the appliances in their new home and being new to home ownership, a new home buyer will benefit from a good, comprehensive home warranty. 

It is common for a seller to purchase a home warranty and add it as part of their closing checklist for a new homeowner. This becomes an additional incentive for potential buyers, but it also ensures that the former owner does not receive any complaints or communication from the new homeowner if anything goes wrong after the closing date.

Real estate agents may also provide a home warranty as part of a thank you for the sale and to welcome the new owners to the house.

Buying or selling a home brings many hidden costs that can add up over time. It can be especially tough to determine who pays for what, such as closing costs, the appraisal or the inspection. Providing a new homeowner with a plan gives them less to consider when first moving into a new home. When negotiating for your home, it is possible to request a home warranty be included in the closing costs.

Finding a home protection plan that ensures the repair process is simple and easy to understand is helpful to both the buyer and the seller. Cinch Home Services provides the most straightforward home warranty contract services — perfect for first-time home buyers or sellers trying to provide a great closing incentive.


Best times to purchase a home warranty

You may choose to purchase a home warranty at any time. People are usually prompted to purchase warranty coverage at the approach of a new season. It is also common for people to purchase a home warranty during the sale or purchase of a home.

If you are concerned about any of your appliances breaking down or you are worried you will not be able to afford future repairs to your appliances, a home protection plan provides warranty coverage so you may only have to pay a small service fee to have a technician repair or replace your appliances. 

Keep in mind there may be a waiting period of up to 45 days before your plan is in effect. Your home warranty company wants to ensure they are not insuring past breakdowns or damages. This waiting period is expressly outlined in the terms of your service contract. 


Cinch Home Services

Whether you are the buyer of a new home, providing yourself with peace of mind when it comes to your major appliances and home systems, or you are the seller of a house, trying to entice a buyer with the offer of a home warranty, you need to choose a comprehensive home warranty plan, such as the ones offered by Cinch Home Services. 

We offer the most straightforward terms of service and provide a great customer experience. Contact us for your home warranty needs.


When buying a house, what is a home warranty and who pays for it? Every situation is different, but it's important to have one for future protection.