Q: I have a home warranty question for you. I closed on my first home last October 30.
According to my purchase agreement, a home warranty was to be included at closing (paid for by the broker).
I signed so many papers at the closing, that I just assumed the warranty was included. In January, my thermostat went out. I called the listing broker and she said I never got a home warranty.
After further investigating she found out that yes, I’m supposed to have a home warranty for 1 year. She ordered the home warranty, but stated that it won’t begin until February 2007. She refuses to pay for the thermostat.
Can I take her to court for the cost of the thermostat? What else can I do?
A: You can sue anyone you want. But it will take a lot of time and energy for a small matter. There are two kinds of “home” warranties available in the market. One is given to a buyer of a newly constructed home and the other is purchased or given to buyers of existing homes. I’m assuming that you purchased an existing home and are referring to the second kind of home warranty.
What I’d do is call the managing broker of the seller agent’s firm and have a discussion with him or her about the situation and ask the company to pop for the thermostat.
Please keep in mind that many home warranties have a deductible that the homeowner is required to pay for each incident. That deductible can range from $60 to $100 or more per visit. You may find that even with the warranty, you will end up paying about the same cost for the thermostat because you have to pay for the deductible
Looking over your situation, it’s clear that the seller’s real estate agent forgot to buy the warranty and he or she should bear the cost of the new thermostat. But I think it’s fair that you pay what would have been the deductible.
Finally, you bear some of the responsibility. You should have really read all the papers at closing and checked to make sure that the warranty was included. And if you didn’t do it, your attorney (if you had one) should have done it.