First-Time Buyers: 7 Home Service Contract Tips
As an additional incentive, an increasing number of home sellers are purchasing home service contracts on behalf of buyers, according to the National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA). For first-time buyers benefitting from these contracts, it’s important to:
1. Review the home service contract to be sure you understand all terms and conditions. Home service contracts generally provide service, repair or replacement for items such as dishwashers, ovens, disposers, electrical and plumbing systems, and most importantly, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).
2. Maintain all appliances and household systems to keep them in efficient operating order. You will benefit from uninterrupted service as well as potential energy savings.
3. Request optional coverage if you feel you may need coverage on items not typically specified under the standard coverage, such as a swimming pool, septic tank or spa.
4. Keep a copy of your contract easily accessible and post the provider’s toll-free service number in a visible location, like the refrigerator door.
5. Call your contract provider at the first sign of trouble. Do not call a repair contractor directly. One of the benefits of your home service contract is that your provider works with a network of prequalified and licensed contractors in your area. If a breakdown (such as a lack of water or heat) poses an actual risk to your health or safety, most providers will work to expedite emergency repairs.
6. Follow up with your provider if for some reason you are not satisfied with the service provided. They will work with you to resolve your concern.
7. Note when your contract expires. For your convenience, many companies will provide automatic renewal of your contract. If you do not wish to renew, contact your provider right away to exercise your cancellation rights.