Smart home tech is becoming more and more common. So much so that it's worth considering when it comes time to sell your home, especially because it can be so expensive. Does it add value to your home? Or is it merely a perk? Before you go installing the latest gear, here's what you should know.
Photo: American Classic Homes
Some home additions — like putting in new tile, hardwood floors, or adding additional rooms — could get you some more resale value down the line when it comes time to sell. Using that logic, a seller might think smart home upgrades would do the same, right?
But the unfortunate truth is homes equipped with smart home tech probably won't sell for more, according to residential real-estate agent Angel Piontek. Appraisers are looking for the major stuff, like number of bedrooms, location and other essential amenities.
Some expensive, whole-house automated systems (like Control4) might add some value, says Piontek, but those types of systems can cost you $US10,000 ($13,219) or more. Basic upgrades that cost you anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to $US1000 ($1322), like a Sonos smart sound system, aren't going to do much for you.
That said, while smart home tech may not boost the resale value of your home, it could help your home stand out so you sell it faster. Piontek explains:
"It may or may not increase in actual monetary value, but it may facilitate a faster sale. Outside of the luxury market, it's a new niche for us to consider. It brings a differentiating factor when you're selling a house... If I walk into four houses in the same neighbourhood, and one has a Nest thermostat and the agent has educated me that it could save 10 to 12 per cent in my heating and cooling, that's going to stick out in my mind. While the other houses maybe I'm going to forget about."
If you plan on installing some smart home gear before selling, make sure you work with a listing agent who's familiar with it. Piontek cautions that an agent can only use the tech as a selling advantage if they know how to explain it. And it's better to go with popular products consumers are familiar with. You don't want to scare someone off with something that seems unfamiliar or overly complicated.
Smart speakers are cool, convenient and fun to use, but when it comes to privacy, they leave a lot to be desired. If you own an Amazon Echo, a Google Home or a HomePod, there are a bunch of settings and features to tweak if you're worried about protecting your personal data.
Also, make sure it's clear the products are part of the house, to be included with the sale. If you don't label things clearly, or have your agent make it obvious, people might assume you're taking it with you. This is especially true with items that don't require any thorough installation, like wireless Sonos speakers and Google Home devices. Again, devices like this won't give you any return on investment, but if you're looking to make a sale fast, these nifty gadgets can give you an edge on the market.
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