Home warranties are offered by either 3rd party companies that can be independent of a real estate company or that may be partly owned by a real estate company or it's parent company.  The Home Warranty companies typically offer a 12 or 13 month coverage period on a covered home, where they will make unexpected repairs on specific items, such as appliances, furnaces, air conditioners, etc...Many of the home warranties will actually replace items that cannot be repaired.  Most policies require that the home owner pay a deductible per repair call, usually around $100.  And the Home Warranty company has specific contractors/companies that must be used to make the repairs.  The home warranties usually cost around $500-$500, with some variance in price & coverage.  It pays to research the different companies and to read the fine print.  There's alot of it!  For the basic repairs, the home warranty can be a great tool for unexpected issues after moving into your home.  For sellers, it can also help alleviate getting a call about issues with the home after closing.