A home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is an important consideration in all home sales. Whether you are buying or selling the home, you should be prepared to discuss the age of the HVAC system, the warranty status, and the general performance.
The answers to these questions can affect the value of the home, so buyers and sellers should be prepared to shift their expectations regarding an offer based on the state of the system.
1. An HVAC inspection is not optional.
A service technician, not just a home inspector, should go over a home’s system before it is placed on the market. For sellers, this is essential information you can either use as a selling point or to prepare for negotiations, depending on the results.
For buyers, getting a thorough report on the age and condition of the system lets you get a good idea of how long it will last after you buy the house. If a system is going to struggle to make it through the next season, that affects the value of the home in a much different way than a state-of-the-art high-efficiency system.
2. HVAC systems should be replaced all-at-once.
For many homeowners, replacing two major appliances at once is a significant financial burden that they prefer to avoid. Be mindful of systems mixing new and old equipment. You will likely be at the mercy of the older equipment when it comes to determining when you replace everything.
If the home you’re looking at has a five-year-old furnace and 20 years on the air conditioner and coil, you’re best served replacing all three components at once. This reduces stress on the system, and it cuts down on overall installation costs.
3. Warranty status is just as important as age.
You should expect to replace HVAC systems that are more than 10-15 years old, making a warranty less important for them. But if you’re looking at a home with a new system and a short warranty period, you could be paying out of pocket for repairs for years. Don’t write off houses with ancient heating and cooling equipment. Instead, use the aging system as a bargaining chip and relish the opportunity to install a system designed for the way you live.
That state-of-the-art high-efficiency system mentioned above? It could be a liability for sellers just as easily as it could be an asset. If the warranty is non-transferable, chances are you’ll have to compromise on the final price either in the form of an aftermarket warranty or a credit towards the sell price.
New HVAC systems rarely add their full value to the value of the home, so installing one right before you sell isn’t necessarily a great idea. An old system with a short-term warranty can be more attractive to homebuyers, as it allows them to install equipment that suits their needs and includes the manufacturer’s original warranty.
A home’s HVAC system can swing the value of the home by thousands of dollars depending on when it will need to be replaced and how repairs before replacement will be handled. It doesn’t matter if you are the seller or the buyer, doing your HVAC homework before approaching the offer is the best way to ensure that you get a fair deal.
This guest post is written by Myles Kleeman, a Brand Specialist & writer at eComfort.com, one of the leading online retailers of HVAC and plumbing equipment. If you have any questions about HVAC systems, give our experts a call at 866-554-HEAT or email us at info@eComfort.com.