How smart home improvements can help sell your house
  • Category:
    Energy Efficiency
  • Published:
    August 14, 2020

How Smart Home Upgrades Can Help You Sell Your House

Smart home upgrades can help you sell your house faster and for a higher price. While there are no guarantees, upgrading home technology can increase the perceived value and desirability of your property, making it more marketable.

The selling power of a smart home

Once considered a luxury, smart home improvements are now mainstream. Features that used to be merely nice to have are increasingly becoming need-to-have selling points.

Homebuyers today have elevated expectations. Some 69% of people have at least one smart home device, according to a study by the Consumer Technology Association. In addition, 34% of homes have smart networking systems, 33% have smart home security and 21% have smart energy management systems. Smart speakers with voice assistants are in 25% of homes, and 14% have smart thermostats.

Investing in one or more of these smart systems could increase the price of your home or help it sell faster — or both.

Can I list my house as a smart home?

Yes — provided you have the right combination of features. But if you’re wondering how to sell your home using smart technology, you won’t find a standard definition of a smart home from the government. Luckily, the real estate industry has begun crafting their own definition.

So, what smart home upgrades qualify you to claim you have a “smart house”? Coldwell Banker Real Estate and the tech site CNET define a smart home as a “a home that is equipped with network-connected products (i.e., ‘smart products,’ connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself.” To justify listing your residence as a smart home, they suggest that it must have either smart security or smart temperature control along with solid internet service. Your home must also have at least two additional smart tech features, such as lighting, appliances, entertainment, safety detectors or outdoor sensors.

5 Smart Home Upgrades to Help Sell Your House

If you’re trying to figure out how to modernize your home with technology, start by adding these quick smart house upgrades. You don’t have to be on the cutting edge — though that doesn’t hurt. Getting the basics right goes a long way. According to a survey conducted by Coldwell Banker, the following is a list of the smart tech potential homebuyers said they valued most and wanted pre-installed in their new residence.

5 smart home upgrades to help sell your house

1. Smart thermostats

A great place to start is a smart thermostat. This device enhances comfort while optimizing energy use. No wonder 77% of respondents wanted smart thermostats pre-installed in homes.

A smart thermostat can be programmed to cut energy consumption when you’re not at home or when you’re sleeping. In fact, your smart thermostat can tell you how you’re using energy in real time. You can adjust the temperature from anywhere using your mobile device, so for instance, you can raise the heat on a cold winter morning without getting out of bed. In larger houses, heat or air conditioning can be raised or lowered in different areas, depending on time of day. And if you have a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat, sensors in the device can detect when the temperature is getting too hot or cold — either indoors or outdoors — and adjust the settings automatically.

2. Smart fire and carbon monoxide detectors

Safety features are also important. In the survey, 75% of potential homebuyers said they wanted smart smoke detectors pre-installed, and 70% wanted smart carbon monoxide detectors.

Smart smoke detectors can notify you by phone if they sense a problem, alerting you of danger even when you’re not home. Some types of smoke alarms connect to your Wi-Fi and home security systems. You don’t waste valuable time responding to an alarm with a call to first responders; they’ll be called automatically. And in the case of a false alarm, you can dismiss it with your phone without climbing onto a chair or step stool to figure out how to silence the siren. Smart carbon monoxide detectors work much the same way.

3. Smart security cameras

The value of security as a smart home upgrade includes smart security cameras and an automated home security system. The Coldwell Banker report states that 66% of potential homebuyers wanted smart security cameras already set up.

When upgrading home tech, these devices are less complex to install and more affordable than old-fashioned systems. Some models that use Wi-Fi don’t require drilling holes and wiring your house. They connect to your phone so you can see who’s at your front door, even when you’re not home. They can also connect directly to law enforcement for instant notification if there is a problem.

4. Smart locks on the front door

If you’re the type that often misplaces keys, you’ll find smart locks to be one of the handier smart home upgrades you can make. Homebuyers agree, with 63% wanting pre-installed smart locks.

More than saving you the inconvenience of lost keys, smart locks help you control who has access to your home. You don’t have to remember who has a key. You can unlock a specific door at a specific date and time for a service provider who has a one-time-use passcode. And you can change passcodes without the expense of changing the locks.

5. Smart lighting in your most-trafficked rooms

When upgrading home tech, don’t forget this inexpensive and quick smart-house add-on. You can turn almost any light fixture into smart lighting with a simple device that screws into existing light sockets, with smart plugs or by using smart light bulbs. Fully 63% of potential homebuyers wanted pre-installed smart lighting. You can connect these devices to your phone or smart speaker, letting you control them remotely or program when they turn on and off. And for lighting that can’t be conveniently paired with a smart bulb or external device, you can wire energy-efficient light switches and dimmers into your home to achieve the same electricity savings and room ambience.

3 tips for selling your house with smart technology

Installing tech upgrades to sell your home isn’t a guarantee you’ll get a higher price or that you’ll sell your house faster. But they do make your house stand out from others on the market. Here are some tips for how to sell your home using smart technology:

  1. Decide what’s staying in the house and what you want to take with you. You might love your smart home upgrades as much as potential homebuyers and be tempted to take them with you when you move. Be sure to make clear which smart home improvements will remain for the next owners. Your real estate agent can help with staging your house and with highlighting those smart home upgrades that come with it.
  2. Mention your smart home details in your online listings. You made those smart upgrades to sell your house; now it’s time to maximize your investment. Highlight smart home tech in your online listings and on open-house sheets. Also, be sure to tell buyer agents about the upgrades before they bring clients to your home.
  3. Reset smart devices back to factory settings before you move out. You’ll be providing the next homeowners a fresh start with their new smart features. But just as importantly, a factory reset erases your data and protects your privacy.

Investing in smart home upgrades can not only improve your current lifestyle but also help your house stand out when it comes time to move. You may get a better price, sell faster or negotiate better terms. And then you can more easily turn the page on the previous chapter of your life and fully start the next — in your new smart home.

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