When purchasing a home, one of the things that you can ask the seller for is a home warranty. In today's market I ask for one with just about every single contract that I write for the buyer's that I work with. What is a home warranty you ask? Well a home warranty is basically an insurance policy for your home. They are, for the most part, 12 month contracts that cover the mechanical components of the home. A basic, non upgraded policy will cover most of the things that may go wrong with, a dishwasher, stove, hot water heater, HVAC system, a jacuzzi tub, a microwave, a furnace, a garage door opener, and a few other items like minor electrical work and ductwork. Most companies that sell home warranties will also offer all sorts of other "riders" such as pool equipment, refrigerators, and clothes washers and dryers. These come at an extra cost and are not included in the basic home warranty.
Most companies will also offer an upgrade of sorts, which will cover things like incorrect installation, and code violations. These upgrades will also cover extra things on all of the regularly covered items that under the normal regular service contract, would be considered "non allowable." The biggest thing this upgrade will cover and the most important reason to get the upgrade is that most of them will cover pre-existing conditions.
It is very important to go ahead and get this upgrade at this time because, this is is the only time you can purchase it, to cover these "pre-existing conditions." This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, as you have no idea what is actually wrong with a home being sold through short sale, or a foreclosed property and many times, by law, the owner may not have to disclose to you what they know to be wrong.
If The seller will not pay for the home warranty, I suggest going ahead and purchasing one your self, I suggest First American, or Old Republic, and I do not suggest an American Home Shield warranty. Of course these are just my opinions based on years of using these products, and the feedback that I get from the buyers I work with. You may have a good or bad personal experience with any of them.