American Home Shield® home warranties benefit buyers and sellers alike
With more than four decades of experience in real estate, Laura Rittenberg—president of Coldwell Banker Realty in Greater Atlanta and the Carolinas—would never dream of selling a home without a kitchen sink. Similarly, she would never advise a buyer to acquire a property without a home warranty.
“I always say it’s important to practice safe sales, which means every property should come with a home warranty,” explains Rittenberg, who has a wealth of experience to back up her advocacy for that investment.
During the course of her career, Rittenberg has facilitated real estate transactions in Idaho, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Georgia, Arizona and the Carolinas. She also launched her own real estate company, licensing school and mortgage company, which she sold to Coldwell Banker 22 years ago.
Today, across the markets her company serves, Rittenberg manages an agent force in excess of 3,000 staffing 30 offices. She has also bought and sold myriad properties of her own, and currently owns seven.
“That means I own seven home warranties,” says Rittenberg. “No matter how much that home is worth, I love having a partner to help me pay for some of the things that break.”
Rittenberg also utilizes the acquisition of home warranties strategically, which benefits buyers and sellers alike.
“In today’s market, I’m going to advise a seller that during their inspection, I’m only going to ask for structural, health and safety items to be repaired,” says Rittenberg. “But I’m also including a buyer-paid warranty that I’ll put on the property before the inspection. That way, if something like a gas leak comes up during the inspection, the warranty can help cover the costs.”
After dabbling with several other companies, Rittenberg has relied on American Home Shield® (AHS) home warranty services for more than 16 years now.
“I can easily say that AHS is the most innovative, offering the most comprehensive service,” says Rittenberg. “I spend thousands of dollars to renew my own home warranties, and I do it cheerfully because they virtually pay for themselves every year.”
Utilizing AHS home warranties on her own rental properties, Rittenberg thinks of AHS as something of a property management company because almost any issue with a rental will be covered. “You don’t need a network of repair people or someone to handle setting things up because with one call to AHS, most things are taken care of.”
Drilling down further, Rittenberg notes that home warranties are a critical piece of the puzzle—no matter the market.
In a seller’s market, Rittenberg says that having an AHS home warranty in place at the beginning of the transaction provides an added level of comfort. “The only thing worse than replacing a refrigerator is having to replace it four days before you move and never getting to use it,” says Rittenberg.
On the flip side of the coin, when in the midst of a buyer’s market, Rittenberg notes that the advantage of having a home warranty is ensuring that both parties will walk away from a transaction satisfied.
“With a home warranty in place, homes tend to sell for a little more because when a buyer sees an old water heater or an older furnace, the seller doesn’t lose money in the transaction due to there being a warranty in place to give the buyer peace of mind after the closing. They’re not negotiating around those issues and chipping away at the listing price,” explains Rittenberg.
“Sellers walk away with more money, and buyers walk away with an extra layer of comfort,” concludes Rittenberg. “You could almost say it’s like buying a lottery ticket and knowing that you’re going to win something.”
For more information, visit https://www.ahs.com/realestate.