How To Sell a Smart Home

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Many homes now feature internet of things (IoT) devices such as connected thermostats, light bulbs, doorbells, and energy-saving appliances. While smart-home products are dropping in price, they still aren’t cheap. Let’s find out how money sunk in smartening up your house can become a wise investment, along with tips for making sure you are prepared to sell a home equipped with smart connected devices.

While there probably isn’t going to be a return on investment on smart-home technology, it may accelerate a sale, as it differentiates your house on the market. If a buyer walks into three houses in the same neighbourhood, and one has a smart thermostat and he’s told that it could save 10 percent on his bill, that’s going to stick out in his mind. Show buyers how it will change and affect their life.

If you have $1,000 of smart-home products in your home, you can’t really expect to get that money back. When an appraiser comes to look at the house, they’re going to look at the basic features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Maybe if there’s a swimming pool, an appraiser might add value for that, while some might not.

When selling a smart home, it really depends on how it’s affixed to the house. If it’s an appliance that the house needs, it’s probably going to be real property and it’s going to come with the house when you buy. A lot of the time with smart devices, it’s not necessarily going to. If a buyer wants those, that has to be in writing. Otherwise, it’s going to be considered personal property.

Given such devices only have a negligible impact on the value of your property, it might even save you money to take everything with you, as you won’t need to buy everything as new for a second time.

To really interest buyers, be… smart!

Ready to take the plunge? Choose products that the consumer knows and is familiar with. Like Nest, of course, or Ring doorbells. User-friendliness and familiarity are key when you’re trying to use smart -home products to market that house.

As a real estate agent, I noticed a shift in the past few years. Indeed, people are increasingly interested in move-in-ready homes: Homes where they don’t have to spend every single weekend fixing it up. And part of that evolution is having devices that make homes safer, more energy-efficient and more convenient. Make sure you focus on devices that offer something tangible to a buyer—and remember that tangible benefits almost always come back to money.

Your to-do list when transitioning your smart home

As a real estate agent, I noticed a shift in the past few years. Indeed, people are increasingly interested in move-in-ready homes: Homes where they don’t have to spend every single weekend fixing it up. And part of that evolution is having devices that make homes safer, more energy-efficient and more convenient. Make sure you focus on devices that offer something tangible to a buyer—and remember that tangible benefits almost always come back to money.

Remove all the devices you want to keep before showing the home.

If there’s something in the house that you don’t want to leave behind, take it out. Replace that fancy thermostat with a regular one.

If the buyer sees your smart thermostat during the walkthrough, he’s expecting that it is going to come with the house. It’s important that everyone is clear on what is transferring during the sale. 

List all the smart devices in the home. 

Some devices may be obvious to new owners — such as thermostats or refrigerators— but light bulbs may be difficult to detect as “smart” devices. Don’t forget to leave the owner’s manuals behind.

Remove administrative access and personal information for all

connected devices in the home and reset the devices to factory settings. Change your login credentials. This will protect your personal information and ensure the new owners can set up their own accounts, create new access codes, and set their own preferences. Take the August lock, for example. The buyer isn’t going to be able to use it unless the seller resets it when they leave.

Anne-Marie Grantham

Anne-Marie Grantham

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