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In Maryann Vitale’s St. Louis, Mo., marketplace, sales prices are up, buyers are preapproved and ready to buy, but low inventory is taking the wind out of the proverbial sails.

“It’s definitely a seller’s market with multiple offers; then once it goes under contract, it becomes a buyer’s market,” explains Vitale, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, serving the St. Louis metro area with 10 offices and more than 550 agents. “Interest rates continue to stay low, and the challenge is getting the word out to homeowners to increase our home sale inventory. As we spread the word, more sellers and buyers will be satisfied, improving our marketplace.”

Educating buyers and sellers, therefore, is priority one for Vitale’s agent force, but not just on market conditions. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties agents are upping the level of service they provide to prospects and clients by guiding them through the essentials of buying, owning and selling a home. Many prospects and clients investigate the value of a home warranty in today’s challenging economic environment.

“Home warranties have increased in popularity over the last several years due to the difficult economic times many experienced,” explains Vitale. “A home warranty is a nice way to help offset the costs associated with failures due to wear and tear of covered mechanical system components and appliances.”

According to Vitale, many of their clients choose an HSA home warranty due to service and quality.

“When customers seek out service providers, they want to make sure they choose the very best,” she explains. “Our clients evaluate many warranty companies and many choose HSA because of the exemplary customer service. In addition, HSA’s coverage is superior to the competition.”

It’s important to provide the necessary education—for both agents and the clients they serve. That’s why HSA is committed to educating agents on the product through consistent, in-person visits to each of Vitale’s offices.

Many factors set HSA apart from its competitors, she explains, including customer service, ease of use, client registration and outstanding regional representation.

“Customer service is key for this or any product,” says Vitale. “HSA’s customer service makes the entire process—from enrollment to filing a claim—very simple. It’s nice that they have a follow-up plan after a claim has been filed, as well as letting the agent who enrolled the client know a claim has been filed. They’re always patient and kind.

“HSA is attentive to their clients’ needs, and when something doesn’t work out, they work hard to make the situation right,” adds Vitale. “Our regional representation is fantastic. Sue Stites, Christy Cooper and Anna Mueller are always here for our clients, and they go the extra mile to make sure everyone is satisfied.”

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