How Can Having a Smart Home Impact Your Sale?

Our appliances are connected. Our systems are increasingly becoming automated. Our homes are becoming smarter.

This is life in the 2010s – and it’s impacting homeowners in all sorts of ways.

Smart home technology, once thought of as the purview of science fiction, is now an everyday reality – and it’s helping homeowners stay in their houses longer, save on their bills, and reduce their impact on the planet.

But is smart home technology – which includes smart appliances, voice assistants, lighting, and security and camera systems – having an impact on home prices? What do buyers and sellers think about this emerging home trend?

Let’s explore a few of the ways that smart homes are affecting the real estate process today…

Smart Homes May Net a Higher Sales Price

Could smart automation features actually help increase the property value of your home? In certain circumstances, these high-tech upgrades could make a difference!

According to a 2016 survey from Coldwell Banker, for instance, nearly half (44 percent) of millennial buyers say they’re willing to pay an extra $3,000 or more for a home with smart features.

In particular, this group is interested in homes boasting smart security systems (58 percent) and eco-friendly thermostats (56 percent). Buyers are slightly less interested in smart appliances (34 percent) and entertainment systems (29 percent).

As Realtor Mag points out, these findings paint a pretty solid picture of “which items will add the most value to a home sale.” Their advice? If you’re looking to invest in smart home updates that add value, focus on:

  • Technology that is “difficult to install”
  • More expensive technology, like “integrated home security systems with sensors and smart fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors”
  • “Integrative systems,” which can be effortlessly controlled via app or voice command and which “can easily be transferred between owners”

Smart Homes May Sell Faster

While smart home technology may earn sellers a bit more money in some cases, it’s important to realize that this is far from a hard and fast certainty.

For instance, appraisers may not recognize the value of smart home features, or factor their benefits into their valuation of the home. As with so many things in the real estate realm, there will always be a lot of factors in play, from the state of the market, to the wants of buyers, to the unique conditions of your property.

With that said, even if smart home upgrades don’t translate directly to increased property values, they could still ultimately benefit your sale in the long run. As residential real estate agent and marketer Angel Piontek put it for New York Magazine, a smart home,

“may or may not increase in actual monetary value, but it may facilitate a faster sale... It brings a differentiating factor when you’re selling a house. You can bring that differentiating factor with a smart home and talk about the lifestyle that it brings and the savings it brings.

[…]

If I walk into four houses in the same neighborhood, and one has a Nest thermostat and the agent has educated me that it could save 10 to 12 percent in my heating and cooling, that’s going to stick out in my mind. While the other houses maybe I’m going to forget about.”

In other words? A home that comes loaded with the right smart home features may stand out from the pack, encouraging buyers to keep it in mind and act on the sale more quickly. Similarly, a smarter home may be just what it takes to attract a certain type of buyer, one who is more motivated to act faster to snap up a home with the particular features they want.

In either case, buyers may find that the sale process is smoother, easier, and faster – saving them not only on stress, but money wasted on carrying costs!

Could Selling a Smart Home Come With Its Own Set of Problems?

Smart home technology is the future. And as with so many major technological advances, it’s going to take some time to figure out exactly how much it will change the real estate landscape. There will be growing pains along the way, and there are definitely a few important things to keep in mind before going all in on smart technology.

For instance? In certain cases, having a smart home may not benefit your sale in exactly the way you’d like.

Some buyers, for example, may actually be turned off by certain smart home features. Some are going to be concerned with issues of data privacy; others may be alienated by the idea that the seller of the home is getting advanced knowledge of their reactions via smart cameras, listening devices, or other home tech.

In other cases, it’s important to bear in mind that not all smart home technology is created equal. As we mentioned above, some features are going to net more interest (and, perhaps, higher sums) than others. Trends are changing every day, and it’s entirely possible that homeowners who invest in smart home technology may not fully recoup their investment when it’s time to sell.

Finally, it’s vital to remember that smart home technology is very, very new – and lots of buyers aren’t necessarily going to understand it. In many cases, brokers may need to call out smart home features, and even educate buyers on their impact (i.e., lower utility bills, a more sustainable lifestyle, greater security, and so on). Without a listing agent well-versed in all things modern, the finer points of a smart home may be completely lost on a prospective buyer.

Getting Up to Speed

What do you think about smart home technology? Have you noticed it influencing a home sale, one way or the other? We’d love to hear about your experiences over on Facebook and Twitter.

Above all, the Real Group RE team loves to keep its finger on the pulse of the real estate world – and pass our extensive knowledge along to our clients! Have any more questions about smart home technology? Looking for some insight into the state of the Chicago market? We’re here and always ready to talk shop! Drop us a line today to keep the conversation going.

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