Originally Posted By: rray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
being a guarantee or warranty. That’s exactly why many franchises offer a warranty policy, which also is why it is not free. American Home Warranty charges us $12 per warranty.
The warranty typically covers things from the date of the inspection to close of escrow or 90 days from the date of the inspection, whichever is longest. (Now try finding an insurance company or policy that states "longest" rather than "shortest." That's a new one.) The warranty typically can be extended in 30-day increments if escrow lasts longer.
If you read the various insurance claims reports that the insurance industry puts out, most home damage occurs during two specific periods: (1) natural disasters and (2) during escrow. I don't know why Mother and Father Nature inflict #1, but #2 is explainable:
Here?s what typically happens with occupied and fully furnished residences. Since the residence is being lived in and systems are being used on a daily basis, it is possible that something will be damaged or fail during the escrow period and during the move-out/move-in process, especially when children are present. Homeowners rarely damage something during escrow and file a claim against their homeowner?s insurance policy because, hey, it?s not even their home anymore. Someone else just bought it! Why should they fix something that belongs to someone else? Some sellers actually do not understand (or do not care) that they still own the home during the escrow period and should continue to take care of it.
Additionally, many people, when moving in or out, have ?moving parties? or move hurriedly so they don?t have to take too much time off from work or use up vacation days or sick leave. The actual days of moving are when most post-inspection damage occurs, and usually it is by the guests (or movers) helping the owner (seller or buyer) move, so the owner may not even know anything about the damage. In both these instances, sellers like to say, ?Your home inspector must not have seen that.? Buyers like to say, ?Our home inspector missed that.?
Here?s what we know, though: Windows and window screens, and door and door screens, are easily damaged and/or dislodged during the escrow period and during the move-out/move-in process. Doors and windows present and in good condition at time of inspection could be damaged or not working properly by the time Client is completely moved in. Because of the location of water supply and drainage pipes, typically in sink cabinets, where we start cramming things immediately upon move-in, they are easily damaged during the escrow period and during the move-out/move-in process, possibly causing loose pipes and leaks.
Lights, wall switches, and outlets (electrical, telephone, and cable) get a lot of use during the escrow period ("Call Granny and tell her we sold the house!"), during the move-out/move-in process, and for that ?final party,? ?first party,? or ?housewarming,? and thus are easily damaged.
Selling a home and leaving is a stressful event. Although grandma and granddad are not inclined to have a moving party, their children and grandchildren are so inclined, and children, especially small children, can create a lot of damage which escapes the attention of grandma and granddad during the move-out.
A Vacant and Unfurnished Home presents its own types of problems. Residences that are vacant for any period of time can be expected to present problems upon move-in. Some structural and mechanical components and systems that have not been used on a daily basis can be expected to fail upon first use. A home is meant to be used, meaning that a fully functioning home requires proper use, care, and maintenance. When a residence is vacant, there is no one to do regular monitoring and maintenance. Think about the ?haunted house? in your neighborhood or city when you were growing up. It was vacant and dilapidated, and deterioration was continuing on a daily basis because no one was around to take care of it. Same thing with any vacant residence, new or used. Deterioration is an ongoing process; it does not quit simply because a residence is vacant.
So how does one remedy all this post-inspection damage?
A home warranty specifically for this period!
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.