3 home breakdowns to prepare your clients for
Many homeowners assume that the house they’re buying or selling won’t experience breakdowns. But home breakdowns are fairly common, and in the worst cases, they can derail a sale. Knowing what’s most likely to break down can protect Sellers while their house is on the market. It can also help Buyers mitigate problems after they move in. Today, we’ll look at the three most common home breakdowns and how you can help your clients avoid or address them.
HVAC systems: the most common home breakdown
According to analyses by 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW), homeowners place claims on their HVAC system more than anything else. One in three homes requires an HVAC repair, and nearly one-third of claims relates to the HVAC system.
An HVAC breakdown can be a real problem for Sellers especially. The average HVAC repair costs around $425, and the average cost to replace an HVAC system is $6,400. Many Sellers list their homes in the spring and summer, which is prime time for HVAC use. An HVAC breakdown while the house is on the market can complicate or even ruin a potential sale.
Although HVAC systems are complex, there are a few simple steps your clients can take to reduce the likelihood of this common home breakdown.
- Change filters. Encourage homeowners to change their air filters regularly, such as once a month, as they prepare for the sale.
- Remove debris. Advise them to keep the areas around their outdoor cooling units clean and clear of debris or nests.
- Listen closely. Recommend that homeowners listen for any odd noises while their heating or air conditioning is running. Odd noises are usually the first sign that their HVAC system needs service.
These simple maintenance steps can reduce the cost of home ownership and prevent this common home breakdown from negatively affecting a sale.
Refrigerators: #2 currently but quickly rising
In normal circumstances, refrigerators are second on the list of most commonly claimed home breakdowns. With more people working from home and opening their refrigerators more often, refrigerator breakdowns are becoming even more common. It can cost an average of $340 to repair a fridge and $1,250 to replace it.
There are several steps you can recommend to your Sellers to help them reduce the likelihood of a breakdown.
- Clean the condenser coils. Whether they’re underneath or behind the fridge, condenser coils get dirty. When they’re dirty, they can’t release heat, which can cause breakdowns and food spoilage. Using a condenser coil brush and vacuum, homeowners can easily clean their condenser coils and minimize the likelihood of a breakdown.
- Don’t overfill. Overfilled fridges and freezers can force the unit to run inefficiently. If your clients can’t reach the back of their fridge or freezer easily, it’s likely overfilled.
- Avoid grazing. Constantly opening and shutting the refrigerator forces it to work harder to keep things cool. Reducing the number of times a homeowner opens the fridge “just to see what we have” or to graze can help improve the fridge’s performance and extend its life.
Water heaters: a common breakdown
The third most claimed home breakdown involves the water heater. No matter the time of year, most people prefer hot showers to cold. Though water heaters can be durable, they require routine maintenance. Sometimes, homeowners forget to maintain it or simply don’t know how. Here are a few suggestions you can make to help your clients keep their water heater running well.
- Drain the water heater. Mineral buildup is a common cause of water heater breakdowns. Recommend that your clients drain their water heater at least once a year. You can even provide them a step-by-step guide to draining their water heater.
- Check for problematic signs. If the water heater makes banging or popping noises, it could be a sign that something’s wrong. Likewise, if the water heater is hot to the touch, it could mean there’s a problem.
Give your clients a head-start with a home warranty
On top of these tips, you can recommend a systems and appliances home warranty from 2-10 HBW for your Buyers and Sellers. A home warranty can help cover repair and replacement costs when these common breakdowns occur. Seller coverage helps protect Sellers while their home is on the market, which can ultimately protect the sale. Plus, in most states, Seller coverage is complimentary, and air conditioning/heat pump coverage costs just $50 (Seller coverage is $60 in Florida). That sure beats the cost of repairing or replacing out of pocket.
Buyer coverage helps reduce the overall cost and improve the experience of home ownership for your clients when they need it most. The last thing your Buyers want after paying a large down payment is to spend more money on an expensive home breakdown. By recommending a home warranty or even providing one as a gift, you can help them avoid this problem. This often leads to happy clients, and happy clients tend to make strong referrals.
2-10 HBW offers comprehensive systems and appliances home warranties to help protect your clients from unexpected repair and replacement costs. Contact us to learn more.