Homebuyers don’t just want smart homes — they expect them, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has also keyed in on this tech-loving trend, as evidenced by its recent meeting with three major tech giants. And it’s no surprise.
Unlike the large construction projects that bring high costs or landscaping work that takes a big time commitment, smart-home features require relatively minimal setup and quickly result in convenience and savings, making them a great investment for any home.
But not every buyer is aware of just how beneficial smart-home tech can be. That’s where you come in. Whether you’re assisting a first-time homebuyer or helping a move-up client, here are three smart-home talking points you can’t miss.
1. The potential energy (and cost) savings
Energy-efficient homes across the U.S. sell faster and for more money, per the U.S. Department of Energy, and that’s likely because buyers — especially young buyers — are interested in going green. And luckily, investing in smart-home tech is one of the easiest ways to start living an eco-conscious life.
Those energy savings can translate into energy bill savings as well. Automating a home’s thermostat and eliminating unnecessary heating and cooling expenses, for example, could lower energy bills and save homeowners hundreds of dollars every year.
Smart lighting has a similar effect, reducing wasted energy and increasing savings. Ensuring your potential buyers know all about the specific monetary savings and minimizing effects on the environment that smart tech affords will make any sale a little easier.
2. The convenience
It’s hard to put a price on convenience, but smart-home tech can help. Take the time to walk through practical use cases where smart tech would make life a little simpler, and include a few demonstrations if you can.
Most smart devices can be set to turn on or off based on a schedule or specific event — smart lights can be set to turn on when the garage opens or smart window shades could be programmed to open right as the sun comes up.
Additionally, smart-home tech doesn’t have to be entirely automated; many smart-tech users appreciate the ability to control devices remotely. No more wondering if the front door got locked or whether the porch lights were left on: a simple check through a device’s associated app can confirm that everything is as it should be.
The easy access afforded by smart tech can also make the home you’re selling more accessible to a wider range of buyers. A smart-lighting system that can be controlled by a schedule or an app rather than a physical trip to the light switch, for instance, could have big benefits for those with limited mobility, so be sensitive to each buyer’s needs as you talk about the tech.
3. The home security benefits
Home security has long been a beneficial selling feature in homes, and that hasn’t really changed with smart security. Any devices like cameras or motion sensors that can help with keeping a home safe are great to highlight, though a more comprehensive and integrated package that works with lighting and heating systems also has its appeal.
Smart locks and lockboxes can even make the eventual selling process easier, if the buyer has plans to flip the home down the line. These devices allow users to monitor who is going in and out of the house and when, ensuring everything stays secure.
Another big benefit of smart-home security is that it can lower the cost of your home insurance by up to 20 percent. If the first talking point on this list worked well with your buyers, circle back around to this one as well.
Countering concerns about the smart home
Selling a smart home isn’t without its challenges. Consumers across all industries care about data use and privacy, both of which are a big deal in the smart tech industry.
For this reason, it’s imperative that you ensure the home is outfitted with quality tech. You should be able to tell buyers when each smart device was last updated and which firmware version they’re running. It takes a little more effort to be on top of that information, but it’ll help set your buyers’ minds at ease.
The transfer of device control should also be handled smoothly — make sure you completely disconnect any phones or tablets used for showing the home’s tech, and clear out any residual data. Each device should be a blank slate by closing time.
Some buyers may be intimidated by the prospect of smart-home tech, but a helpful real estate agent can assuage a lot of those worries. Take the time to explain how easy smart tech can be to operate, how it benefits the environment and how much it can help a homeowner save.