Homeowners, builders and designers have all begun to take the Internet of Things (IoT) a bit more seriously. That’s because technology is evolving and catching on with more homebuyers. As a result, smart home functionality is quickly becoming a key factor in negotiating the sale of a home.
Buyers may find it worth the extra investment to enjoy an automated experience from the very beginning. Likewise, those selling a fully automated house can leverage their home’s improvements as one of many reasons to bump up the asking price. Keep these thoughts in mind whether you are a homebuyer evaluating smart homes for purchase or an experienced do-it-yourselfer considering ways to get the most value for your IoT-enhanced property.
Considerations for smart home sellers
Smart home sellers enjoy a growing niche of buyers
Each new year brings with it more refined smart home technology and, subsequently, more homeowners willing to invest in home automation. According to The Washington Post, a study found that 57% of homebuyers see older houses as more appealing and as “updated” if they have smart-home features in them. And with a growing number of millennials buying homes, it’s important to remember what they want — 61% of millennials say they’d favor smart-tech homes.
Likewise, a 2015 recent survey of real estate experts performed by Coldwell Banker noted that there is a significant push for automated features among customers. More than a third of real estate agents recently emphasized that smart home technology helped a home get sold.
This trend represents an opportunity for homeowners to begin making their home as appealing as possible for resale. According to Coldwell Banker’s report, homebuyers are most attracted to home security technology and smart temperature control. Working around these specific smart home interests is smart because, if the smart home trend continues, homes without automation could eventually become harder to sell.
Highlight your investments when showing the home
There are two important factors to keep in mind when showing off your home to a new buyer. First and foremost, don’t forget to demonstrate to potential buyers how your home’s automated technology functions. Seeing the capabilities of your IoT-capable household may be enough to make a family more comfortable with the idea of purchasing your smart home.
Second, be sure to take note of which pieces of automated technology you showed off to new potential buyers. A new family will feel miffed if IoT gear showcased during the visit is missing when they move into your old home.
You’ll need to make sure homebuyers get a fair look at what they’re buying when they tour your automated home. Some pieces of automated technology, such as wireless plugs, are easy to replace or remove during a home visit. For instance, you may want to consider packing away an expensive smart home hub before visitors arrive if you’d like to keep the technology for your next home.
Tips for buying a smart home
Buying a smart home may let you avoid the legwork
The advantages of a smart home, including the ability to network multiple devices in your house via your high-speed internet connection, has led many families to put in the do-it-yourself work necessary to automate their household. Homebuyers intrigued by this technology trend but less interested in the installation process have an opportunity to have their IoT-enabled cake and eat it too by shopping for a home that’s automation-ready.
An important thing to keep in mind when employing this strategy is to stay flexible with your expectations. You likely won’t find your exact specifications as the home’s previous owner automated the home to meet their tastes. Purchasing a home with existing IoT installations, however, will save you hours of work and allow you to enjoy an efficient, intelligent household. But make sure to also ask which smart home devices and connections will stay with the home and which will leave when they move out.
Popular smart home products to ask about
When viewing a smart home there are a few types of smart home technology that you’re more likely to see installed and should ask about. According to a T3 Sixty survey, smart home security equipment such as video doorbells and smart locks are among the most popular examples of IoT devices in households. One of the best selling smart home products is the Ring doorbell, which made up 65% of video doorbell shipments in 2017.
The ability to control these devices through a smartphone app makes home security and monitoring more accessible than ever before. You should also keep your eye out for smart kitchen appliances and smart lighting. The many conveniences delivered by these high-end pieces of technology are well worth the investment since smart appliances and lights can help you save energy and money over time.
Don’t forget about home security
As always, it’s important to do your due diligence as a consumer when shopping around for a smart home. Be sure to discuss important issues like security features and system efficiency with the home’s current owners before signing any paperwork.
Because home automation makes use of devices that access the internet, securing IoT devices against intrusion is just as important as protecting your home computer or smartphone. Ask about the privacy and security of smart devices that will come with the home. You should also make sure to set up firewalls or encryption strategies to keep your new internet network secure.
Whether you’re buying or selling a smart home, the opportunities to create a more efficient and connected home can easily improve your buying or selling experience.
Originally published 04/22/15. Last updated 01/28/19.View home security plans