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"Move-In Ready" Increasingly Means Smart Home Technology for US Consumers

August 19 2016

smart home control temp

Sellers looking to upgrade their home before putting it on the market may be wise to install smart home technology. According to a new survey from Coldwell Banker, 44 percent of US consumers believe a house that's "move-in ready" has smart home technology.

In fact, 54 percent of survey respondents would choose the home with smart technology when faced with two houses that are exactly the same, and 26 percent believe the technology is a major selling point.

So What Is Smart Home Technology?

Speaking of "defining," what exactly is smart home technology? Coldwell Banker teamed up with CNET in May to clarify the term. The two companies settled on a mutual definition to "provide a clear and unified designation to keep up with rapidly evolving technology."

To start, a home must have a reliable internet connection and one of two base "smart" systems: 1) security features that control access via smart locks or monitors the home through, say, networked security cameras; or, 2) smart temperature controls.

Additionally, a property must have two other systems from the following list to qualify as a smart home:

  • Appliances (smart refrigerators and smart washer / dryers)
  • Entertainment (smart TVs and TV streaming services)
  • Heating / Cooling (smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents)
  • Lighting (smart light bulbs and lighting systems)
  • Outdoors (smart plant sensors and watering systems)
  • Safety (smart fire / carbon monoxide detectors and nightlights)

ColdwellBanker.com now designates homes that meet this definition with a smart home icon. MLSs are getting in on the act, too. REColorado, for example, added a new fieldadded a new field to their Matrix MLS system in July called "Smart/Connected Home Features." Agents are able to indicate up to 15 internet connected devices, including refrigerators, sprinklers, HVAC, security, thermostats, water leak alerts, and more.

Move-In Ready Meets Smart Technology

Let's loop back to the idea of what constitutes a "move-in ready" home for a moment. According to the survey, consumers considered the following essential to a move-in ready listing:

  • Updated heating/cooling: 85% of respondents
  • Updated kitchen and bathrooms: 83%
  • New appliances: 74%
  • New construction: 45%
  • Smart home technology installed: 44%

Smart home technology can be integrated into most of the items on the list above. Kitchens, for example, can be updated with a smart dishwasher, freezer, refrigerator, microwave, stove, and more. Smart HVAC systems and thermostats that can be controlled via mobile device are a valuable home upgrade. As for bathrooms, sellers can make them "move-in ready" with smart faucets that regulate temperature and reduce water waste, and--yes--even smart toilets that clean themselves and pre-heat the seat (nope, not kidding).

Some of your sellers may balk at the prospect of installing smart home technology themselves. Thirty-two percent of Coldwell Banker survey respondents "would be intimidated" to install the technology, so be prepared to refer your clients to professionals who can.

Your turn!

Are you seeing an increase in the number of homes in your area with smart technology? Have you noticed an impact in sales price or in increased interest from buyers? Let us know what's happening in your market in the comments below!

Other articles of interest: Birdview IDX | AgentOffice