Landmark Home Warranty ranked #22 in Utah’s Fast 50 Awards for 2016

Landmark CEO says win shows the company’s dedication to providing remarkable service for their customers is paying off.

August 18, 2016, SALT LAKE CITY – The recognition keeps coming for Landmark Home Warranty, which was recognized last week as the 22nd fastest growing company in Utah by the Utah Business Magazine.

To create the annual list known as the “Utah Fast 50,” the Utah Business Magazine compiles financial data from a variety of Utah businesses to determine who has grown the quickest over the past five fiscal years (2011-2015).

Businesses are only eligible to be ranked on the list if they have been in business for more than those five years. The businesses had to submit their data to an independent accountant who analyzed the data and found which business ranked where.

Landmark Home Warranty, which was started in 2004 by owner and CEO Alma Jeppson, has grown over 1000% in the last five years. Not only has the company increased their profits by 24.4 million dollars since 2011, the company as a whole has grown substantially. They’ve moved from a 4,500 square foot office to a brand new 25,000 square foot floor to adequately hold the 200 or so individuals Landmark employs. To put that in perspective, in the end of 2011, the company only employed 18.

Alma Jeppson, Landmark Home Warranty’s founder, owner and CEO, said ranking #22 on the Utah Fast 50 list is humbling.

“When I look back to where we started, even if I look back five years ago, having a company that is 200 employees strong was a goal that, at times, seemed unattainable,” Jeppson said. “But our team worked hard and focused on giving our customers remarkable service, and here we are!”

Jeppson said the ranking signified more than just an increase in profits.

“We keep seeing this growth because we focus on our customers and try to do right by them,” he said. “When you try to deliver remarkable service in every interaction, you will ultimately succeed. This ranking on the Utah Fast 50 is a testament to that fact.”

The awardees were recognized at a luncheon, where they had the opportunity to hear Utah Business Magazine’s Sam Urie speak on how a ranking on the Fast 50 indicates the company is providing a product that customers need, as well as building strong leadership within their company.

Riley Schroder, Landmark Home Warranty’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, was able to attend the luncheon and accept the award. Schroder said he was proud of all the work his team and the company on a whole has done to make this award a reality.

“Growing this fast in such a short amount of time shows the hard work and dedication our company has to Landmark’s home owners, real estate partners, and contractors,” he said. “To be there and accept the award made me so grateful for each and every one of our employees.”

Along with the ranking and luncheon, Landmark Home Warranty will be rewarded with an article published in Utah Business Magazine about Alma Jeppson. The article will be printed in the upcoming September issue. For more information about the Utah Fast 50, and to see the other companies who were ranked on the list, please go to http://www.utahbusiness.com/utah-business-honors-utahs-fastest-growing-companies/

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Landmark Home Warranty is a leading regional home warranty company, founded in 2004, and committed to providing comprehensive and dependable home warranty services in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah. Coverage includes repairs and replacements of home comfort systems, appliances, interior electrical, and plumbing. Landmark Home Warranty was named one of the “5000 fastest growing companies” consecutively from years 2013-2016 by Inc. Magazine, ranked #22 on the Utah Fast 50 and has been awarded the Best Regional Home Warranty Company for the last three years. Landmark is a privately held company with over 200 employees based in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit www.landmarkhw.com.

What Price Should You Offer on a Home?

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If you’ve found your dream home and you’re ready to make an offer, you may wonder what price you should include in your offer letter. Should you offer the asking price of the home? Lower? Higher? There’s no one right answer to that question, simply because it all depends on the market where you’re buying the house. Luckily, you can become a market savvy individual by working with your Realtor and reading through this article to know the best offer price.

Competitive Market Analysis

When you decide to make an offer, your Realtor will help you by creating what’s called a Competitive Market Analysis or CMA. A CMA is a multi-step process, but by going through it with your Realtor, you will learn more about your market and the best way to make an offer on the property you want.

Comparables

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Start by Gathering the Comparables

A comparable is a real estate term for a home that is comparable to the home on which you’re making an offer. Your realtor will go into the Multi-Listing Service and make up a list of homes that are within a half-mile to a mile away from the home you’re making an offer on, and are a similar size. Your Realtor will look at homes that are currently listed, pending or have sold within the last 6 months. This list will be what you use to create your Competitive Market Analysis.

Look at the Selling Price

For homes that are pending sale or sold, your Realtor will look at the sold price, not the listing price. The price the home sold for could be more or less than what the listing price was, and the sold price is a more accurate number on how much the home is worth. Comparing the selling price of the pending and sold homes to the listing price also gives them a good idea of the value of comparables.

Home Information

The Realtor will also look at different parts of the comparable homes as well. They will note if the home has undergone upgrades, was sold as-is, had a roof or deck updated and so on. These elements will be included in the CMA.

Averaging the Prices

Once your Realtor has gathered up all of the sold prices and the facts of the about each of the comparables, they will add up all of the prices and average them. They will also look at the amenities the average home has; if all the comparables have a deck, then a deck won’t boost up a property’s value; but if only a few of the comparables have a deck, it will make that property more valuable.

After all of these elements are completed, the real estate agent will give you the Competitive Market Analysis. It will show you the average price of similar homes to the one you’re making an offer on, as well as their average size and amenities. However, you can’t take the average price and use that as your offer. First, you have to gather up some information on the home you’re looking to purchase.


Compare the Home to the CMA


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To find the home’s value, compare it to the homes on the competitive Market Analysis. Does it have more or less bedrooms? A better kitchen? More deck space? A better view? All of these are factors in the value and price of the home. Take the average home’s amenities and price and then add or subtract value when looking at the amenities, size and condition of your home.

Of course, some things will be huge indicators that your property is a different value than the average comparable home. If the property is in bad condition or being sold “as-is”, it’s likely less valuable than the average home in the area.

The main things to look for are the condition, location, features and basic amenities of the home when comparing it to the properties on the analysis. Once you’ve found a value for the home based on the competitive market analysis, you don’t fully have your offer price yet. Next, you’ll need to…

Determine if it is a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market

Knowing if the home is located in a buyer’s or seller’s market can help you determine what price to offer.

A seller’s market means there aren’t many homes for sale, and so there’s more competition for one home. Buyers can end up getting into bidding wars on a home because of the lack of other houses on the market, and homes go quickly.

Seller's Market

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A buyer’s market means there are many different homes on the market and therefore not as much competition for each home. A home may sit on the market for more time and so a seller may be more motivated to accept a lower offer. Buyer’s markets can be seasonal. For example, winter is a buyer’s market, because most people don’t plan to move in winter, so they’re usually heavily motivated to sell their home, letting a buyer able to get a lower price for the house.

Buyer's Market

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If you are in a seller’s market, be prepared to make your best offer first. That way, you won’t get caught in a bidding war. If the seller accepts another offer and wants you to counter, you know that you have made your best offer, and move onto another house.

In a buyer’s market, bidding slightly lower than the asking price can be helpful. The seller may counter offer, but it’s possible to get a home for less than listing price and with more help on closing costs and repairs, as they’re highly motivated to move.

Use this knowledge to ensure you have the right offer to get the property you want.

Finally, you’ll need to make your offer irresistible by …

Finding Your Seller’s Motivations

Knowing what motivates your seller can help to move the sale along and get you the offer. Price isn’t always the end-all be-all of an offer. There are times when an offer may look really good to a seller based on other parts of the offer, simply because of their motivations for moving.

Start by looking to see if the home has been on the market for a long time. The longer amount of time, the more motivated the seller may be and more willing to accept a lower price. See if your Realtor can determine what’s kept it on the market for so long and see if you can use that knowledge to move the offer along. Is it because there are so many repairs needed? If you feel comfortable doing DIY’s, offer to take the home as-is for a lower price. Has a contract fallen through because of a buyer? Show your pre-approval and give the seller a hefty earnest money deposit, but a lower priced offer.

Next, learn why the seller is moving. If they are downsizing to a small apartment, offer to “buy” any furniture they need to get rid of and can’t take along. If they’re trying to move quickly, (they are paying two mortgage payments) offer a lower price with a quicker closing date. They may take your offer because they’ll be saving money. Although value of a home and how it compares to other houses nearby is important, the price may not be as alluring as something like a quick turnaround or a financially secure buyer.

Once you make an offer, make sure to stipulate that you want to have a home warranty on the property once you purchase the home. This will protect your systems and appliances when they fail from normal wear and tear. You can pick the plan that best suits your needs from Landmark by going to our compare plans and pricing page.

The Parts of Buyer's Offer on a Home

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If you’ve found the perfect house that you know you want to purchase, you are probably thinking of making an offer. Making an offer is much more complex than calling the seller up and telling them you want the house. In fact, an offer is a legal and binding document that is usually chock full of contingencies, agreements and places for you, the buyer, to sign and agree. So how can you make an offer on a home? This article looks at each part of the structure of an offer so you know what you’re signing and how to best prepare for the offer process.

Prepare to Make an Offer

Once you’ve found the home you have fallen in love with, make sure you have a Realtor and an attorney working with you to make an offer. This article, while helpful to go over the basics of an offer, cannot provide you legal advice, not to mention, many states have different laws concerning real estate that you must observe. Working with a Realtor and an attorney can ensure your best interests are being met.

The Parts of an Offer

When you make an offer, your Realtor will have you fill out and sign a contract that details your offer price, financing details and more. Most offer letters are quite long and usually include these parts:

Anatomy of an Offer 


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Offer Price

This is usually the most important part of the offer; how much you are willing to pay for the home. This can be above or below the listing price, depending on a wide variety of factors, including a competitive market analysis of the other homes sold in the area. 

Financing

The offer will also show the seller that you are prepared to finance a home purchase. It will show how much you’re able to pay for a down payment, and then what type of loan you’re pre-approved to get. If you haven’t been pre-approved for a loan, there may be a chance that the seller will reject your offer because you don’t seem like a serious candidate, and they don’t know if you’d actually be approved to purchase a home in the price range they’re selling if they accept your offer. To be taken seriously as a buyer and prove that you can afford to buy a home at the price you’re offering, make sure to get pre-approved for that amount and include the pre-approval letter in your offer.

Earnest Money Deposit

Although legally it’s not required to include an earnest money deposit with an offer, in this day and age an offer will be seen as weak without an EMD. An earnest money deposit is a check for 1% of the offer price. It’s seen as a good faith deposit, or a way for the seller to see you’re committed to purchasing their home only. The earnest money deposit will be held in escrow until closing, where it will be used as part of the down payment on the home if everything goes well.

Read more about Earnest Money Deposits here.

Closing Cost Stipulations

Purchasing a home costs more than just the offer price. There are loan origination fees, title company fees, home inspector and appraisal fees… the list goes on and on. Depending on the location and the size of the home, the closing costs can be between 2-5% of the home’s price. In some places, it’s customary for the seller to pay all of the closing costs. In other places, the closing costs are divided up evenly. This also depends on what type of market the home is in and how motivated the seller is to move.

The offer will include what you’d like to do with the closing costs, such as the seller assuming all of the costs or splitting the costs equally.

When you Want to Close

The offer will also include a timeframe of how long the offer is good for and when they’d like settlement (when ownership of the home is transferred to the buyer) to take place. This can be a factor of the seller accepting the offer. If the seller is extremely motivated to sell (say they’re currently paying two mortgage payments) they’re probably going to want a faster settlement date.

Contingencies

Finally, the offer will probably include a few contingencies. These are requirements that allow the legal offer to be broken, and let the buyer walk away from the deal. Some common contingencies are:

Financial Contingency – The offer is only valid if the buyer is approved for a loan on the property.

Home Selling Contingency – This contingency might be put in place if a buyer is trying to use the profits from their home’s sale for a down payment on the home on which they’re making an offer. If the home isn’t sold, the buyer cannot go through with the contract and it is broken.

Home Inspection Contingency – This contingency usually states that once the home inspection is completed, the buyer can walk away from the deal if the repairs are too numerous and if the seller isn’t willing to pay for the repairs. A buyer may not have this contingency available if the property is an “as-is” home.

Home Appraisal Contingency – A mortgage lender will appraise the home to ensure the loan the buyer is getting for the property isn’t more than what the property is worth. If the appraisal finds the property is less than what the offer price is, the buyer can pay more money out of pocket to the seller, have the seller reduce the price, or walk away from the deal.

Home Warranty

Finally, the offer will include a section on home warranties. If the buyer wants a home warranty on the property to protect the systems and appliances when they fail from normal wear and tear, the buyer can ask the seller to include one. If the seller is trying to sweeten the deal, they can advertise that the home is covered under a home warranty (usually the home is protected through listing coverage while on contract and the seller will pay to transfer that coverage to a full home warranty plan at settlement). This will also be included in an offer.

If you’re looking to purchase a home warranty for a new home, make sure to take a look at Landmark’s brand new pricing for their new homeowner plans. Coverage has been updated and includes coverage on corrosion, rust, sediment and lack of maintenance. Compare plans and get a customized price sheet for your new home here.

Landmark Home Warranty Lands on List of Top-Growing Companies for 4th Year

Landmark secures 929th spot on Inc. 5000 list

SOUTH JORDAN, UTAH, August 17, 2016 – Landmark Home Warranty was recently listed #929 on the 2016 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in the nation. This is the fourth time the company has been honored on the list. In 2013, the first time they placed, they ranked #1909.

Alma Jeppson, CEO and Owner of Landmark Home Warranty, said he credits the hard work of all of the Landmark employees for this award.

“I’m so proud of Landmark and our amazing team for getting us this far,” Jeppson said. “We have grown a lot in a short amount of time, and I owe it to the entire company working together to give our customers the best experience possible.”

A rank on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing companies is determined by a privately held company’s revenue growth from the fiscal year of 2012 compared to the fiscal year of 2015. According to Inc. 5000, the total revenue generated by all the companies featured on the list grossed over $200 billion in 2015. Landmark experienced a 428% increase, making $4.9 million in 2012 and increasing that to $26.5 million in 2015.

Chris Smith, President of Landmark Home Warranty, says it feels amazing to look back just three years ago and see all the company has accomplished.

“On the whole, we’ve just become better at responding to what our customers need,” Smith said. “We’re committed each year to establish goals that ensure that we’re delivering remarkable service to our customers, and this award is the result of those goals being met.”

Some of Landmark’s goals include increasing speed of service for all customers and having high rankings from their customer’s experiences. Creating jobs within the community has been another goal for Landmark, including hiring a recruiter to find the best possible candidates.

According to Inc. 5000, the companies featured on the list also created 640,000 jobs. Landmark alone grew by 82 employees in the past three years.

“I’m so pleased that we’re able to open Landmark up as a place for individuals to learn, grow and help people,” Jeppson said of this tremendous growth. “Landmark is all about giving back to the community, and that means giving them the opportunities for jobs, too.”

In all of this growth, has anything been lost? Many companies that grow so quickly from such a small number see a loss in culture. Smith said that hasn’t happened at Landmark – if anything, the culture has been magnified.

“One of our internal values we uphold is to ‘Protect the Landmark Family,’” Smith said. “We truly feel like every member on our team is part of our family. We love and appreciate each employee who works here.”

Besides being ranked #929, Landmark was also named #13 on top insurance companies and #13 for top Salt Lake City companies.

This prestigious award has featured other successful independent businesses over the years. Landmark Home Warranty is in the companionship of companies such as LinkedIn, Zillow, and Microsoft.

The Inc. 5000 list was started in 1982 to recognize those companies that were most successful in the United States. 2016’s list is the 35th annual list to be published through Inc. Media. For more information on Inc 5000 and to see Landmark’s previous rankings, please go to http://www.inc.com/profile/landmark-home-warranty.

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Landmark Home Warranty is a leading regional home warranty company, founded in 2004, and committed to providing comprehensive and dependable home warranty services in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah. Coverage includes repairs and replacements of home comfort systems, appliances, interior electrical, and plumbing. Landmark Home Warranty was named one of the “5000 fastest growing companies” in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 by Inc. Magazine and has been awarded the Best Regional Home Warranty Company for the last three years. Landmark is a privately held company with over 200 employees based in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit www.landmarkhw.com.

What to do Before, During and After a Home Inspection

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You’ve made an offer on a home and it’s been accepted, so now what? There’s probably an ample amount of time before closing, and that’s no mistake. You need to use all of that time making sure the home you made an offer on is the one you want to buy. One of the ways you can do that is by getting a home inspection. Read through this article to understand better about what a home inspection is and what to do before, during, and after a home inspection.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection occurs after you make an offer on a home and it’s accepted. You schedule a time with a qualified home inspector, who will go through the home’s systems, appliances and structure to look for problems, malfunctions and repairs that need to be made in the home. Generally, a home inspector looks at:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Major appliances like your fridge, dishwasher, oven, washer, and dryer.
  • Structure of your home, including the foundation and windows

As the inspector goes through the home, they will turn on the systems and check to make sure they’re working correctly and don’t have any major red flags. After going through the entire home, the inspector will create an inspection report detailing the state that all of your systems and appliances are in.

Time and Cost of a Home Inspection

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How much does a home inspection cost?

A home inspection can cost between $300-$600, depending on the size of the home and the inspector’s rates.

How long will a home inspection take?

The length of time it takes a home inspector to go through the home depends on how large the home is, how thorough the inspector is, and the state of the property. If the home is smaller, it can take an hour to two hours. If the home is larger or more run down, the inspection can take up to six hours.

Before the home inspection:

Hire a Home Inpsector

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Before you get a home inspection, make sure that you research the best home inspector and hire them. Many buyers will take the recommendation of their realtor and not give it a second thought. Of course, as long as you got a good realtor, you shouldn’t worry too much about the home inspector, but it’s always good to find a home inspector you trust, not just one your realtor trusts. Go online, research their reviews, see what they specialize in, and pick the inspector who fits your needs best. Make sure the inspector is property licensed and has been a contractor before. Some states don’t have specifics on what it takes to be an inspector, or even qualifications. Some inspectors just have to read a few lessons online to become a home inspector. If you find a home inspector who has been a contractor in their professional life, you can bet they know what they’re talking about and how things work in a home.

During the inspection:

During the Inspection

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Make sure you attend the inspection. If your inspector will not let you attend the inspection, then you should hire a different inspector. You should treat the inspection not only as a way to learn what things are potentially problematic in your home, but as a quick guide to your home’s systems and appliances. Your home inspector should be able to walk you through all of your systems in order for you to learn how they operate and what you’ll need to do to maintain them. (That part is especially important if you’re getting a home warranty along with the sale. Of the home.)

A home inspector will also talk to you about the problems they see in the home and what you will need to have repaired. This will make it so it’s not a surprise to you when you get the home inspection report. If your realtor is there, you can discuss which things you want to ask the seller to repair or replace before agreeing to purchase the home, or if you want to negotiate on price.

Ask Questions During the Inspection

You should also make sure to ask questions during the inspection. The inspector has been hired by you for you, and they should be able to tell you the state of the home without a bias. Some questions you may want to ask during the inspection are:

During the inspection ask questions

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  • How bad is it?

Ask the inspector if the problem is dire, or if you could fix it later on while living in the home. The inspector should never try to make you scared or worried. They should tell you honestly how long they think something will last and when you should have it repaired. If they say it needs to be fixed ASAP, listen to them, but also don’t be afraid to get an expert’s opinion in whichever system or appliance they’re inspecting. As mentioned before, not all home inspectors are experts in their field.

  • What should we do with that?

Here is a great question to see if your inspector is worth their salt. If they reply with touting their own knowledge and experience and give you a quote, it might be time to cut your losses and find a different home inspector. In some states, it’s unethical and against the inspector’s code to work on a home they’ve inspected in the past. If the inspector explains an easy way to fix the problem quickly that you can do yourself, you know they’re looking out for you.

  • What would you fix?

Ask your inspector the most pressing issue that you need to have fixed or have your seller fix by asking them what they would repair first if this was their home. Depending on what they say, you can determine what your next step should be.

  • Can you show me how (x) works?

The inspection isn’t just a time where you see the home’s flaws, it’s also a step-by-step guide to how your home works. Don’t be afraid to ask how certain systems and appliances work.

  • How much time is left in (x)?

If an inspector knows their stuff, they’ll be able to give you a rough estimate as to how long you have left on certain parts of your home. This isn’t a guarantee, but it can help you plan for the long-term repairs by either getting a home warranty to protect your home or by saving for those things that home insurance will have to cover.

After the Inspection

After the Inspection

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After you have gone through the home with the inspector and they have sent you the inspection report, make sure to use it. You should always read through the entire thing before doing anything with the inspection report to ensure you didn’t miss anything.

Once you’ve read through it, it’s time to decide what to do based on the information you’ve been given. You have a few options.

First, you can decide to walk away or continue on with your purchase of the home. Most offer letters and real estate documents have an inspection contingency that states if you’re unhappy with the state the home is in when you go to purchase it, you can leave the agreement and get your earnest money deposit back. If the repairs are too numerous and the home is in bad shape, you may want to decide to back out of the sale.

If you think the problems in the home aren’t enough to warrant you starting your search over again, then you can either ask for a reduction on price or ask for the seller to pay for the repairs. The seller may not pay for everything you want fixed, so it may be a good idea to state your worst concerns first and then follow up with what you want repaired after.

Use Inspection for Home Warranty


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If you get a home warranty, remember to use your home inspection alongside it. A home warranty does not normally cover the problems mentioned in your home inspection if they’re not repaired. Landmark Home Warranty has new real estate plans that do cover rust, corrosion and lack of maintenance, depending on the situation. Make sure to look through the plans and pricing to see the stipulations for these plans.

Home Inspection Before, During and After

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