Selling Homes Without an Express Warranty? Builder Beware!
The last couple decades have seen dramatic changes in the relationship between builders and their customers. A generation ago construction defect litigation rarely affected builders. In many jurisdictions, the old legal maxim caveat emptor, or “let the buyer beware”, applied to the sale of new homes. Twenty-first-century American society has turned that principle on its head. A more accurate watchword in these times is caveat builder or “let the builder beware” of litigious homeowners and plaintiffs’ attorneys bent on making a lucrative monetary recovery in court for every perceived defect in every new home.
Residential construction litigation has increased in frequency and expense dramatically in the past two decades and exponentially in the past few years. Homeowners recover hundreds of millions of dollars from builders every year, and a typical settlement of a condominium association claim is not measured in thousands of dollars, but in millions of dollars.
A recent study revealed that more than half of all homeowner claims are about actual work performed in the building of the house and not about design, materials or maintenance. These complaints can create logistical headaches for builders and can lead to litigation that is expensive and tends to distract builders from their primary focus of building and selling homes. Express home warranties reduce the work, anxiety, and expense of these kinds of claims by spelling out the rights and remedies of the parties and by providing for arbitration, a quick and relatively inexpensive method for resolving disputes.
Arbitration provisions in express warranties provide that mutually agreed upon, neutral arbitrators hear the evidence from the parties and determine, without passion or prejudice for either side, who owes what to whom. Because most arbitration services have streamlined procedures, and because there are no juries for whom the lawyers must “dramatize” the case, arbitrations often result in less expense and reduced animosity between the parties.
In today’s world, there is no reason why builders or homeowners should beware of dealing with each other after the settlement on a new home. If a builder provides his customer with an express warranty administered by a neutral third party, such as a new home builder warranty by RWC, both the builder and the homeowner can enjoy peace of mind because they have a clear and written description of how the home should perform and a quick, fair, and inexpensive process for resolving any disputes that might arise. All of RWC’s warranty programs include out effective warranty resolution process which includes mediation and, if needed, formal arbitration.
If you need information on the procedures and/or rates to enroll ALL your building projects (remodeling, commercial, detached garages, condominiums, townhomes, etc.) with RWC to provide yourself with the most warranty protection available, contact your Account Executive at 800-247-1812, Ext 2149.