'Certified' pre-owned homes for sale

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- You’ve probably heard of certified pre-owned cars. But what about certified pre-owned homes?

Two Valley companies, Platinum Home Warranty and Advantage Inspection Service, have teamed up to offer sellers an inspection, warranty and certification prior to listing their home.

“Being a buyer, there is a lot of stress buying a home, not only finding the perfect home for yourself but one that won’t cause problems when you move in,” said Neil Brooks, a Realtor with Home Smart.

Brooks describes the market as flat, with most homes sitting on the market 5 months before selling. That makes it a good time to be a buyer and somewhat more challenging to be the seller.

“Right now, being a seller, you have to hit all those check boxes for those buyers,” said Brooks.  “Your home has to look right; it has to be priced right. And more importantly, it has to be in good shape.”

Seller Joanie Drumwright spent $400 on the new Platinum Advantage Certified Pre-Owned Home program, aiming to set her home apart from the rest.

“Anything we can do to make the process easier, we are on board to do that,” said Drumwright. “You can look at something from the outside, and aesthetically it looks great. But until you know and have the satisfaction that all the inner workings are working also, that's just an added security.”

Brooke Hoyt with Platinum Home Warranty says buying a pre-inspected home with comprehensive warranties makes the large purchase a little less stressful. Realtor Neil Brooks likes that it also protects the seller.

“Anything they can do to reduce their liability is a great thing,” said Brooks.  “Not only does the pre-certification of the home make it stand out from the competition but it also reduces their liability after the sale when it comes to disclosure items.”

Joanie Drumwright’s home will hit the market later this week and she's confident the 500 point inspection, home warranty, and certification will help it move fast. “It’s about $400 and I think well worth the investment,” she said.

One of the best perks, according to Brooke Hoyt with Platinum Home Warranty, is the temporary home warranty which is good for:“180 days while it is listed then once the sale takes place the buyer has the opportunity to extend that.”

And buyers will now know up front, without ever even seeing a home, what is wrong or right with it.

“It is nice to know up front, because it can cost a buyer thousands of dollars between inspections and appraisals in order to close on a home. And when that falls through it is very disappointing,” said Brooks.

The inspection, certification and temporary home warranty runs anywhere from $200-$600 depending on the size of your home. Of course, a buyer will likely still want an independent inspection done but this will give them a heads up on any potential problems.