Buying and Selling a High-Tech Home

Investing in a smartphone is a no-brainer for most people, but what is the market like for smart homes?

Forty-five percent of Americans “either own smart home technology or plan to invest in it in 2016,” according to Coldwell Banker’s 2016 Smart Home Marketplace Survey.

With nearly half of Americans enamored with home automation, there’s no doubt a market exists for high-tech homes.

In the months and years ahead, tech-minded house hunters will find more and more smart home options on the market. Likewise, smart home sellers can take comfort in knowing there’s a large pool of house hunters interested in home automation.

What makes a home “smart?”

The term “smart home” can mean myriad things. Coldwell Banker’s survey found that people view a home as “smart” when it has automated security (such as locks and alarms), temperature control, lighting, and/or safety features (like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors).

The most popular type of smart home technology currently in homes is “smart entertainment,” with  “smart security (31 percent) and smart temperature (30 percent)” tying for second.

Not just for tech geeks

The Coldwell Banker survey reveals that of those who “either have smart home technology or plan to buy it in 2016,” 36 percent “don’t consider themselves early adopters of technology.”

So if buying a high-tech home leaves you feeling a tad uneasy, know that you’re in good company with so many others also new to the world of home automation. What’s more, you’re likely to love an Internet of Things (IoT)-filled home. Once people buy their first smart home product, they’re hooked, Coldwell Banker’s research suggests  – and they buy more IoT products for the home.

Home tech buyers love

If you’re already in a high-tech home, rest assured that you’re on trend. But don’t assume that everything in your smart home is on a house hunter’s wish list. But don’t invest in too many high-tech features, Consumer Reports advises, as they “offer notoriously bad returns on investment” due to quickly evolving technologies.

However, certain smart technologies do add value. People are most interested in programmable thermostats and automated lights, locks, and security systems, according to Consumer Reports. Bonus: You may potentially get a three- to five-percent boost in your selling price just because of these home automation perks.

Furthermore, CNET and Coldwell Banker’s 2015 joint survey revealed that 81 percent of people who already have smart home products are “more likely to buy a home if smart technology was already installed.” The same joint survey shows more than a quarter of American adults – and almost half of the millennial population- already have smart home products set up.

Design and tech can go hand-in-hand

While there’s a growing audience of prospective buyers looking for smart homes, there are still those who are hesitant about home automation. Some view incorporating new technologies into the home as conflicting with design, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

A knowledgeable real estate agent can help debunk the myth that home automation means bulky tech devices. In marketing materials and during an open house, your tech-minded agent should highlight how it’s possible to have a smart home with design in mind.

Find a smart-savvy agent

If you’re hunting for or selling a tech-savvy home, you’ll want to first be sure to find a real estate agent with smart home experience. Spend time reading agent reviews and searching for comments related to smart technology and home automation.

Once you’ve found your home automation-minded agent, communicate the technologies you have or are hoping to find in a home. When selling your home, it’s critical that your agent knows how to explain to potential buyers the value of smart technology and how home automation can make life easier.

If you’re ready to buy your first high-tech home, or sell the one you have, take comfort knowing that high-tech homes are becoming increasing available and popular. Find an experienced high-tech real estate agent and make sure the home you’re buying or selling has the smart home technology basics, and you’ll be well on your way to closing the smart home deal of your dreams.

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