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Protect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself - Home Warranty with Heidi Marshall

by Paul Dashevsky
September 30th 2022

Hosts Paul and Sara sit down with Heidi Marshall of First American to discuss all things Home Warranty. We chat about what a Home Warranty is, who usually pays for it, how it benefits homeowners, t... More

Welcome to the L. A. Realtor podcast. I'm paul with great belts and I'm Sarah with glen oaks escrow and we're getting to know the industry one conversation at a time. Hey everybody, we got a good show for you today. Today we have Heidi marshall with first american home buyers protection. Fun fact Heidi and I have known each other for over a decade I believe and I hated her when I met her and now she's one of my best friends. Welcome to the show. Heidi Thank you. Yeah, I mean we kind of got rid of the, we don't like each other part at the beginning. So now it's all, it's all smooth and candies. For. How long did you dislike her before you started liking her? It was probably a couple of years. I knew her like through my sister. She was friends with my sister and well, but we didn't hang out often. And then when we would, I was just like, I don't like her. She's like so low drama. Like what is she even bringing to the table here? You know, I was in a different place in my life.

Yeah. And then we got, yeah, she was a little bit me. Oh yeah. What's the adjective there? We always seem to end up with each other. Yeah. We really bonded in san Diego. I think we got left on a bachelorette trip. We got left at the bar and our friends all went down to a pizza place and didn't tell us. And so we waited for like half an hour and then we started walking around and we found them just mowing down pizza a while later and they were like we sent a a taxi. No the pedicab the pedicab I sent a pedicab for you. You sent a pedicab for me. I was a pedicab drivers was to find us. Yeah it was like it's san Diego so they have those little petty cabs where you just sit in the back and the guy bicycles you around interesting. Yeah we weren't thrilled when we saw them all eating pizza and ever since then it's been us against the world Sarah these are terrific stories. Do you want to tell everybody who Heidi is and what she does?

I did but I'll do it again. Okay so Heidi marshall is with first american home buyers protection we call them home warranties in the industry and she can tell you a little more about that Heidi why don't you tell us all about it? How'd you get into home warranty? Oh yes yes. So funny story. I was T. C. I was a transaction coordinator and a realtor for about I don't know six or seven years before and I got into the N. H. D. The natural hazards division first after Miss Sara here left I kind of just followed her and her sister Rachel with the first american chain. So Sarah left and I started working in the N. H. D. Realm and they came to me and said do you want to be a dual rep at the time said of course my kid was starting college and I need the extra money so that's great. So that's pretty much how I got into it. I just kinda fell into it a little bit and I've been here ever since you say your kiddo now I'm down on the Orange County area though.

I was the rep up in san Fernando valley. You have a kid in college. Is that what you said? Did I miss it? Yeah I have one. I have one son who's 20 for just moved out, graduated and he graduated College during 2020. So he's yeah he's living on his own working full time and doing his own thing. You know. Strange. We started early. Yeah you don't look so now I'm down here in beautiful Orange County. Yes it's beautiful. So so so let me ask you about home warranty. I mean there's a lot of misinformation about home warranty. There is well does every transaction need home warranty? It's a it's not a mandatory requirement to have a home warranty but some offices do tell them that they should have it most of the time. It's it helps obviously with having a home warranty. It helps the sellers kind of down the line in case anything goes wrong later on the home warranty kind of comes into play after the close of escrow.

So obviously if there's any issues beforehand before closing that's not something the home warranty would cover kind of like any insurance right? Nobody really covers anything pre existing but say a water heater goes out or a garbage disposal goes out a month or two into owning the home. They call up place the claim, they could come on out there. They also have the sellers coverage, which is nice. So during the listing portion, when the agent takes the listing, it covers from the listing to the close of escrow and then the buyers policy comes on right after that. So I've had a couple of items go out on a listing where you know, halfway through the escrow, there's a leak in the slab or something and or in the bathroom and they're kind of happy to have that coverage on there. At that point, I was just talking to an agent yesterday who said they are in escrow and the air conditioning just went out. And so of course the buyers are going to want new air conditioning so that's going to be a whole thing. But if they would have sellers coverage that would have been a good time for that.

So who usually chooses chooses that chooses the plan pays for it. How does that usually work? Well, normally the seller would pay for it unless it's specified back in the counter. There are agents that I have that are on the listing side that will always kind of counter counter everybody in just kind of like they counter in escrow and title and they're just going to say all services. Normally on the purchase agreement, the buyer is going to ask for a company whether they put the company that they like to use or seller or buyer's choice, But I would never just leave it blank on there. I would usually put which company you'd like to use and if the seller comes back encounters, you know, than they do. Hopefully they're countering with first American on that. But as far as the coverage goes, it really depends on what kind of house they have. If they have a townhouse or a 5000 square foot home, they can kind of vary on that Because it's highly customizable depending on if you have a saltwater pool, if you're over 5000 square feet.

Yeah. So luckily with us, we don't, with the pool coverage, it includes the saltwater so they don't have to add in that. They want the saltwater versus just a regular chlorinated pool. We made it just super simple for them. But if they have more than one refrigerator, maybe they've got a wine fridge or one in the garage. They can add in the additional Later on top of the main refrigerator they have in the house. So I mean it just kind of depends if they have air conditioning down here in Orange County, a lot of people don't have air conditioning and same with Santa Monica kind of area, those coastal areas up in the valley. Of course we need air conditioning because it's 10,000° up here. So, but it is very customizable. I'll usually tell the agents, you know, if you have a question about the coverage, just reach out to me if it's a house that's over 5000 square feet, the home warranty companies will cover 5000 to 10,000 square feet. But the pricing is a little bit different at that point. Just because you have more features, right?

You might have multiple air conditioners or multiple water heaters. If you have a five, About a seven or 8000 square foot house, you're going to have multiple items there. So the coverage is going to be a little bit more expensive with new construction. You have your new construction policies where it comes in after the first year of the builder covering it and it covers the 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of the policy. So lots of different options. Always wondered maybe you can clarify this for me, the Homebuyers Protection that you sell the home warranty versus a homeowners like homeowners insurance policy. Did they ever overlap or is it all the coverage always totally separate, Totally different. It's very separate. Yeah, because the we cover the major systems and appliances of a home. So plumbing, electrical water heaters, those kind of things. Whereas the home insurer is going to cover more of your secondary stuff.

So if you have a leak they come in and they cover the damages like all the secondary stuff that could happen. So that's the way I kind of yeah fires earthquakes if you have the earthquake insurance all of that. So home warranty mainly just covers your major systems and appliances that go out. What's The most common one what breaks all the time? Oh well plumbing is probably one of our biggest our biggest claims because we're constantly using showers, bathrooms, sinks, water heaters. So that's gonna be our plumbing claims are usually what we see the most of after that. I would probably say your appliances, refrigerators and then of course air conditioners after that. But plumbing definitely see a lot of backups. You know when air conditioners go out on the hottest day of the year. That's when, Yeah.

Seriously? Yeah they do they tend to do that. So I usually will suggest to everybody to make sure they get a C. Service. We don't do servicing on it like a full maintenance but if you have them come out at least once a year. I mean I used to have clients that were really solid about doing it twice a year but I usually say after the hot season ends which one is that really? But september october time getting your air conditioner and your furnace serviced not only will it kind of keep your A. C. And furnace going longer but if they notice anything that's wrong with it they can at least tell you hey you have a leak in your evac coil, you might want to call the home warranty company at that point versus not having your A. C. Or furnace service for multiple years and then having it go out of course on the hottest day kind of preempt it by getting that servicing done and then if they notice anything wrong then you can give us a call.

If not you just have a really clean air conditioner. So oh and the filter's gotta make sure you change those filters out because not everybody does it. So yeah every six months at least. Is there a thing with like stoves around thanksgiving? Am I remembering that correctly? I feel like my sister always used to get so many phone calls before thanksgiving like oh my God my stove is out fix it. Yeah. Actually your sister called me on her rental stove, her rental oven during the holiday time. So she was guilty of that as well. But yeah. Yeah. Check your stoves, your ovens, all that fun stuff. Make sure it's heating up because you want those those pies cooking correctly. But yeah so during the holiday times you'll see a lot more in the appliance claims because that's when people are starting to use their appliances a bit more and then obviously in the colder seasons you'll see furnaces but that kind of comes a little bit later. So yeah, and of course when we get our first rain of the season, you'll get roof claims, but if they don't have roof, it's limited leakproof coverage.

So I want to stress that it's very limited on what does that mean? So basically it covers patchwork in the living occupied space and there's a certain amount that we cover on it, but not everybody gets it because they feel like we're in California, it doesn't really rain out here are roofs are pretty, pretty stable, so I usually will offer it to them and if they take it, they do, if they don't, then you ever had a roof leak actually in my apartment now. But so, so here's the crazy thing that I find is you have a roof leak, you can't call a roofer because it's raining. There's literally nothing they can do. So you're like, it's raining, it's flooding in my house, no one will go on my roof to patch it when it's raining understandably, but no one wants to go up there to even put a tarp up there. You are, you're like, it's raining and it's raining inside your house and there's nothing you can do about it. It's the weirdest thing can you go up there? Who do you, who do you think I am? It's a two story house do you I thought you were with someone with a ladder, but now I'm feeling like maybe I have a ladder, you know what, I don't have a freaking tarp.

Yeah. Anyways and a tall enough ladder to get up there too because not you know not every ladder. Well that's when buckets come in handy. A lot of buckets. Yeah a lot of I hope you have a lot of buckets. I have a bucket, one bucket but it fills up quickly so I gotta be, what do they call that when you clear a boat of water? What is that? I don't know that there's a name for that. You just got to be on your okay no idea. Maybe get a second bucket, you just switch it out and then instead of like hauling. Well when you bring me my the tarp you're gonna bring me can you go ahead and bring me a second bucket? God that's the least you can do bail, you bail out a boat bail oh you bail out with your bucket thank you. Alright, bail the boat out with a bucket alliteration. Have you ever Heidi seen a buyer or owner that has a policy that thinks like their entire house is covered and they get like I don't know a crack in the drywall or their toaster oven breaks and they're like oh hey you gotta cover this because does that ever happen?

It does and that's just because they haven't necessarily read the contract or spoken to their rep all warranties, cover a lot of things but we don't obviously don't cover everything. So there's a lot of conversations about that cracks in the pool. We cover the filters, the pumps, motors, and heaters and above ground electrical and plumbing, but nothing below ground. So sometimes I'll get the call because the homeowner just doesn't know they think it's just a pool claim and they're like, gosh, we're losing a lot of water and I think there's a crack back down below and like, I'm sorry, that's not something that we cover, but I have had the keg aerators where they've asked me if the keg aerator discovered it's not, Is it not? I mean that was my first time ever hearing that, you know, asking for it. I'm like, like, you know what, let me ask really quick about that. It's a fridge. A fridge. It is, I guess not. Exactly. Not. Exactly. No.

And it's not an ice maker. So it's a keg aerator was that same person's cappuccino machine covered the built in espresso question. You built a built in, You don't you don't, you have one, you don't, you don't have a built in espresso machine. I don't know, it's weird. It's weird. There's a couple of clients, sarah that you will know that do have a built in like super shmancy fancy kind of coffee cappuccino espresso maker that's built in and they look really nice too, but they're not covered, but not if you can't afford to buy a new one if you have a built in right? Exactly. Exactly. Or just get a one that sits on your counter. So yeah, we do get those questions and it's just all about knowing what your coverages and taking the time to actually read your contract. And just, you know, if you have questions reaching out to your rep about those questions that you might have or reaching out to the company just to verify because there are some things where you're like, is it, isn't it?

And as a homeowner you just might not know. So reach is usually one of the best ways to just kind of solidify that answer. What would you tell? Maybe newer agents about picking company picking a plan there as the buyer's agent, right? They're going to write that into the offer, is that right? So what should they know about what they should write into the offer in terms of home warranty? Well, they want to make sure that they're putting in enough funds for it. You don't want to have happen is you only put in a super small amount where it's only going to cover just the basic, especially if they have an air conditioner or pool, right? Because then the buyer might have to come out of pocket for that. So as a new agent, you want to make sure that you're either reaching out to your rep or you're grabbing that brochure and looking and see seeing what the pricing is on that and putting in you don't have to put in an exact amount but something that's going to be enough that you can get all of the options that your client wants to have and making sure that you're you know checking the boxes over there and saying who's going to pay for it And if and with inflation nowadays is like a home warranty maybe what $20,000 or what's the cost?

No I mean for say just the value plus which is going to be your basic first class upgrade and air conditioning right now. It's about 4 90. So I mean it's still really affordable especially for what you're getting with your cover. So for that in the contract you'd want to write up to 500 or something right Up to 500. Yeah. And the way that the new contracts are, we used to have a little check boxes on the R. P. A. Where you go check off a sea or pool. Now they don't have that. So on the left hand side where it says remarks is where I usually will tell the agents to kind of fill in what they like in that coverage because if I'm not ordering it, I usually tell them, hey once you get into escrow, let me know and I'll help you place it. But if they're going to have their T. C. Or escrow place that escrow doesn't know if there's a pool on there a lot of times or if they have an additional refrigerator so if they're just putting an amount in there and nothing else in that description box they might not get the coverage that they want.

So reaching out to your rep is the best way to do it because then at least we can ask you hey did we need this or did you need that if not just write it in that remarks box and that way there's no ifs and buts about it. So you just going back a little bit. You were a real estate agent before you were a rap. What was that like? Did you like it was it hard but what was it Like? I did like it it was an interesting time when I got in because I got in as I got in 2006. So right when all the Oreos were coming up and the short sales were coming up. So it was a really interesting time. I did a lot more open houses because back then you didn't have the internet as much right. People weren't going on the internet and looking at the houses so they were coming in you get walk ins and do floor time. So but I did a lot of open houses a lot and I got my buyers that way back in the day and then for some reason people started asking me to help them with their their files and so I started doing transaction coordination work for some of my agents in the office.

And when Sarah's sister left the office she was a T. C. At they asked me if I wanted to come in and T. C. At that office. So I'm telling you like I literally just kind of like followed around been pulling each other through the industry together exactly in my position. Do you want it? Okay cool if you can take it you come and take it. It's totally fine. And I love doing the T. C. Work. I mean that was great. I like the organization of it and I was just kind of I was my own boss which was really nice and then everything kind of happens for a reason. And when they when first american and I kind of decided that N. H. D. Was a good move then it was great. But it wasn't real estate was not even on my radar of coming in. I mean I was in the acting industry for 25 years before. Yeah I did uh I was a commercial kid. I did uh I did a lot of commercials in the 80s about 150 of them. So that was like my main bread and butter. But I uh I played Madonna when she was younger in a pepsi commercial that got banned in the us.

So that was fun. I mean the 80s for you know her song like a prayer was in the commercial and at that time that video like a prayer had some things in it that people weren't necessarily ready for. And so for whatever reason, the commercial literally had nothing to do with the video. But just a song. Did you know this about Heidi? That she was a famous child actor, actress you did? Oh yeah, Yeah. She's one of my best friends. Yeah, she did. We do talk about stuff other than real estate stuff. What Heidi? You tell me about your childhood? I've never heard any of this. Tell me more. So did you have to do any like commercials like you didn't want to do? Like, I think of like did you have to do anything that you really didn't want to do? I didn't know you did a lot of like barbie and mattel commercials, right? Like that. I did a lot of, I did a lot of barbie stuff. Yeah, a lot of barbie Seaworld looking back now with the world, I'm like, oh God, how did I even do that?

But yeah, no longer ethically aligned food commercials though. Not not so many food commercials. No, that would have been hard for me now. No. And you know, I just, I guess their, their thought was I didn't look like I like to eat, get a whole lot of food commercials, you know, but I did do an oreo cookie commercial, I was seven and I still do not eat Oreos. I did, I ate too many And yeah, I did? I ate too many and I lost a tooth during it. So then instead of me biting into it, they had to switch the whole thing over to me, eating the cream out of it and you're sick of it was just a lot of your parents like industry people that they took you to these auditions, like how did you wouldn't have asked for that right? Like your parents took you? Right. Yeah, so my mom was actually not into this at all. My grandmother was in the industry and she was a model back in the day and then owned a modeling, she owned a modeling acting school, a modeling agency in acting school for like 40 years but had no representation with me.

But it was actually her mom who worked for mattel that said oh you know Heidi should do a commercial, a barbie commercial. And my grandmother was like, oh I don't know, I was a ham already, I mean I would go on cruise ships and just start like dancing and singing. So I mean I was already ham, so that wasn't it? But I started off, yeah, I got my first agent based off of a beauty pageant. So I was on the beauty pageant circuit starting when I was and I was little Miss America. Yeah, I was except I didn't have all the makeup and fluff and stuff. so, But yeah, I was little Miss America. Little Miss California a few times. Did you grow up here? Where'd you grow up? Born and raised in Redondo? Yeah. So I don't know. It's like I've had two separate lives, you know, I'm Gonna have to look you up. I mean is that those on Google? Like Little Miss America 19, Yeah, No, I have all the videos though.

Yeah. Yeah. I had a leopard print, you know, bathing suit, like a one shoulder kind of like frilly bathing suit that I just thought was just so cool. It is cool back in those days with commercials and things like that. They weren't as into missing teeth. And you see a lot of commercials now where the kids like having missing to their gaps. So we had flippers and they put those flippers in and I had a dentist on call. Dr smith was my dentist are basically a retainer with the teeth that just popped right in. So you have like a perfect adventure but not like a kid dentures. Yeah. Yeah. His kid dentures and yeah, I filmed a pancake commercial. It was a mrs butterworth with Dick Butkus back back in the day and it was an aunt jemima syrup commercial and you don't eat at a certain point. You just can't eat the pancakes. So you have a spit bucket and the flippers kept the flippers kept going out.

So they had a guy going in there, grab Oh no. And my dentist had to actually come on set with extra my extra flippers for me. Yeah, it was bad. Do you hate pancakes now too? And Aunt Jemima is like, no, I love pancakes. I love pancakes cause she spit him out, spit him out. Yeah, my grandmother's like, she can't have all that sugar. I'm sorry. She has a Leopard Bikini to get into in two days. I do. I have a leopard bikini that I just can't. And my jelly shoes, jelly shoes. Funny. They were, they were awesome. What a great story. Great background. Well, thank you for sharing that with us and sharing with us everything. We always wanted to know about home warranty and more. Of course. Thanks for having me. It was fun chatting with you too. Yeah. A pleasure. As always. We will put your info in the show notes. So if anybody has, she is your rep now for one of them down there and tell us briefly how to get ahold of you.

If people need to reach you. Yeah, if you need to reach me, you can email me at marshall at first am dot com first american and I'm on facebook and instagram. All right, we'll find you. Thank you Heidi Sweet. Well, thanks guys. See you. Bye. Thanks for joining us for today's episode. I'm paul with great builds and I'm sarah with glen oaks escrow. And if you like what you heard, make sure to subscribe, rate and review. If you'd like to get in touch, please email us at L. A. Realtor pod at gmail dot com. We'll see you next time. We'll see you next time.

Protect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself - Home Warranty with Heidi Marshall
Protect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself - Home Warranty with Heidi Marshall
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