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 Millennialsalready 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