Smart Home Crash Course for Buyers and Sellers

by Becca Davis | Last Updated: December 6, 2019

“Smart homes” simply refer to custom features of a home that allow you to remotely control certain devices (entertainment systems, temperature controls, lighting, sprinkler systems, security devices, garage doors, etc.) using a centralized hub.

The technology hubs can be voice- or button-controlled, or can even make their own settings based on user preferences, to establish patterns of use for your devices.

For example, you could use a smart temperature control to establish a certain temp setting with voice commands and then set the temperature control to thereafter automatically regulate the temperatures you designate at the times you designate. Pretty cool, eh?

Are smart home features worth the investment?

For sellers: Potentially, yes. The demand for smart home features is extremely high. Especially among the millennials in the market, buyers are starting to expect, not just hope, that homes include smart technology.

However, buyers are still currently smarter than technology. They will be well aware of what smart home features are worth. Thus, they will not be easily fooled into paying more than what they’re worth. If sellers are interested in using smart technology anyway, it’s an excellent addition to their home and can certainly increase resale value.

Even if you’re only adding smart tech to sell a home, it does add value and appeal. However, the chances that it will be the selling point are slim, and sellers shouldn’t expect to get more out of the deal than they paid. With that being said, smart technology that is difficult or time-consuming to install will be better sellers than the rest.

Smart security systems are especially to home buyers since thieves are becoming smarter about break-ins and since these systems also offer the added benefit of lower insurance premiums.

For buyers: This depends. Firstly, are you interested in smart technology? Would you use it? Do you find it interesting, entertaining, or convenient? If so, then there’s no reason not to shop for a smart home, as homes with preexisting programs can potentially be cheaper than adding them yourself.

What are the benefits of working with smart technology?

The answer is simple: smart tech is convenient, offers more reliable security (remembering to turn off dangerous devices when you don’t, for example), and energy efficient, which saves money in the long run. Some smart devices even boast hundreds of dollars of savings a month.

What these devices basically do is save the buyer time and energy. It seems people enjoy both of those activities, and it’s not necessarily laziness at the helm. Less time on your lights, temps, and garage door means more focus on what’s important… quality family and friend time in the home. That is a priceless benefit for which lots of buyers are willing to pay!

Is home automation the same as smart home technology?

Nope. Some devices already in your home are likely automated, meaning they’re on a timer. For example, your outdoor lights may come on at 8pm and go off at 6am. However, this does not qualify it as a “smart device.” Smart technology connects to the internet and networks with other devices. This kind of technology truly is faster and more reliable becomes it depends on internet connection, not a device that you must maintain against breakdown.

Are there any drawbacks to smart home technology?

Of course. It’s not the resale value, which at worst will stay the same but likely will only go up, and will almost always sell your house faster, if not for much more. The real risk of smart devices is that they carry to potential to store personal information that can be hard to erase. This information can then be misused by the next homeowner. Because your personal info is tied to smart technologies’ operating systems, it’s critical to outline in a sale:

Sellers of homes with smart tech should also be sure to wipe the memories of all their devices to avoid leaving critical sensitive or personal data behind. This is also a courtesy to the buyers as they will likely want to manage their own settings, not readjust your old setting.

Be sure to remove all your accounts from all necessary networks and to contact the smart tech management company of your devices to let them know about the change of ownership. This step is especially important since breaches in security due to the legal aspect of information stored by smart devices can lead to legal consequences for misuse!

All in all, it’s up to the buyer and seller whether or not to search for or install smart devices. However, the trend suggests that these devices are here to stay. At least checking it out can only put you at the forefront of the market!

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