Home Selling and Technology: Are Buyers Willing to Spend More on Smart Homes?

We have a guest blogger, Tony Gilbert, who works in Washington and Texas, sharing his take on smart homes.  This is an informative topic especially for who would like to know more about why home buyers look for smart homes, as well as some of the most popular smart home features.

A new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate found significant consumer interest in smart homes: 57 percent of buyers looking at pre-existing homes would consider these older homes “move-in ready” if they came with smart home features, and 61 percent of Millennials would favor properties with smart home features. Here’s why smart home features have piqued interest and what homeowners can do to position their home for a fast sale.

smart home technology

Why Home Buyers Want Smart Homes

The interest in smart home technologies cuts across generations. While it should be no surprise that Millennials are interested in connected things — one quarter of Millennials already have at least one smart home feature — a majority of boomers want connected things, too.

Energy savings is a main reason to install smart devices, such as smart thermostats or smart water systems. A smart thermostat adjusts to inhabitants’ patterns so it’s only heating or cooling the home when someone’s there. A smart thermostat can save anywhere from 12 to 23 percent on utility costs, quickly paying for itself.

Smart watering features are popular as homeowners grow more conscious of water scarcity. Homeowners like the idea of turning off the sprinkler from their smartphone if it starts raining. These systems also regulate water use, so lawns and gardens receive only the amount of water they need based on size.

Security features are popular, because they promote peace of mind, even when homeowners are away. People who travel frequently for business and parents of young children enjoy the anywhere, anytime access to their home systems.

Peace of mind may be priceless, but energy and water savings translate directly into cost savings. Home buyers who value smart homes understand they may be paying extra up front, but expect these costs to translate into cash savings that also benefit the planet.

What are the Most Popular Smart Home Features?

Individuals preparing to place a home on the market can increase interest, sell the home faster, and recoup expenses by investing in popular smart features, but which smart home features are most desired? These are strong places to start:

  • Smart-home technology packages – Packages deliver multiple connected devices in one convenient bundle, allowing homeowners to access many of the top desired features for less.
  • Security cameras – Interior and exterior security cameras not only allow parents to watch children or pets, they increase a sense of security and safety.
  • Smart leak detection sensors – Smart leak detection sensors monitor the plumbing system to provide advance notification of leaks; this is a game changer, especially in older homes where the plumbing hasn’t been updated and may be prone to leaks.
  • Smart locks – Smart locks allow homeowners to provide anytime, anywhere access control, increasing security.
  • Network-connected appliances – Using WiFi or Bluetooth, network-connected appliances let you know when they need repair, allow you to control the appliances when you’re away from home, and curb costs.
  • Smart doorbells – Smart doorbell show who’s at the door, reducing surprise and allowing home owners to screen out canvassers, strangers, or other unwanted guests.
  • Smart air filtration vents – Smart air filters purify the air, reduce unwanted odors, reduce allergens, and decrease environmental toxins.
  • Smart smoke detectors – Smart smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms protect your home and notify your device if anything goes wrong, increasing peace of mind.
  • Smart garage doors – Smart garage doors allow homeowners to open and close the door remotely, which can be used to provide access for house cleaners or dog walkers visiting the property.

To match growing demand and willingness to pay, home sellers should cover the spectrum of smart home technologies. Adding one smart thermostat or smoke alarm won’t generate significant interest or value. For the time being, sellers should stick with the home they’ve got or go all-in on smart home improvements.

For more information about the latest smart home technology and how it affects both home buyers and sellers, listen to my recent chat on the Center for Realtor Development Podcast with Chad Curry here.



Tony Gilbert – Guest Blogger




DeClutter Your Life

I am teaching a class today about useful Apps for Real Estate Agents.  There are a lot of them.  And we like shiny new things, so we add those apps to our nearly full phones because we just know we will use them.  Do you ever go back and remove the stuff from your life that you added just to test it out?   There are many things we add because we think it is good.  And it probably is or would be good if we didn’t already have lots of “good” things in our lives.  We need the few “best” that we will actually use and that will benefit us.

Let’s look at a few areas of our lives that we easily clutter up that steal time, energy, focus or money from us.

  1. Too many apps on your phone or too much unnecessary software on your computer.  These slow down your machines and take your concentration when you have to wade through them to find the ones you really use.  Delete the ones you don’t use.  You can always add them back if you need them again.  
  2. You sign up for that great new software at $25 a month and then you never use it.  Get that out of your checking account.  It is taking $300 a year.  I am sure you can find a better use for $300 a year than software you don’t use.
  3. Committee or time commitments for organizations you really aren’t that committed to.  Or maybe you volunteered for a position you just aren’t good at.  I have learned to stop volunteering for organizations or tasks that don’t fall into a short list of places or groups I am committed to already.  When I have too many feelers out in too many places, my concentration suffers and therefore so does the organization I committed to help.
  4. # 3 principles relate to people asking for your money.  You need to have filters that tell you what you should and should not be giving to.  If not, you just feel overwhelmed with the number of requests.  With GoFundMe and Kickstarter making it simple to ask everyone for money, you have even more opportunities to feel guilty for not giving.  You need filters that define the organizations or types of organizations and people you are going to give money too.  Personally, I give money to Human Trafficking Groups and child sponsorships in organizations where I know the staff.  Those are easy and I can be generous there.  I can throw the rest of the requests away.  Most of them are doing excellent work, but it isn’t my job to fund them all.  Of course I can act on impulse and help someone out, but filters help me make quick decisions about most things.
  5. This last one is tough and we can do a whole post on it.  Relationships.  There are some people that you need to spend more time with and some you need to spend less time with.  You might need to move on from some relationships in order to make room for the new ones.  Don’t let people who drain you control your life.  Either spend less time with them or remove yourself from their lives altogether.  Read the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud if you need more help with this.  

Our lives in this age are very hectic.  Don’t make it more hectic than it needs to be. Remove the clutter in your life and make room to laugh more.  Laughter comes with freedom.

Blogging, Tweeting and Facebook

Making progress in the techie world! Just do it! Then do it better. That is my philosophy for many things. Get started with web sites. Get started with facebook. Get started with what you want to do and where you want to go. Then do it better the next time. Since I am learning more about WordPress today – I expect my blog to get better and better.

Have a great day!!