Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 — when you’re selling your home, you’ll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a seller you want every edge you can get. And on the heels of the popular Consumer Electronics Show in January, perhaps that edge is a smarter home. “Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient — all of which are bonuses when you’re trying to sell a house,” says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC. “Sellers who want to move their homes faster may benefit from adding smart features that make their properties more appealing to tech-minded buyers.” According to IHS Markit and CNBC, 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide last year. That’s a 64 percent increase from 2015.
Here are six trending smart home features that might catch buyers’ attention and help sell your home faster:
Keyless/remote entry door locks
Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who comes and goes and when.
CES 2017 Pick: Lose your keys for good with Kwikset’s Obsidian smart lock set to hit shelves later this year. With app-enabled smarts or a touchpad for opening options, this smart lock eliminates the risk of the lock ever getting picked or forced open with a bump key, and it’s sleek, minimalistic design can bring any front entry into 2017.
From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet. Others require no communication hub and can be controlled directly from your mobile device. You can also put some smart bulbs on timers (using your wireless device), sync them with certain TV shows or movies, and integrate them with security cameras and thermostats.
CES 2017 Pick: Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack, $70 here, makes smart lighting and other smart home devices useful for everyone in the house by providing direct access to control smart lighting, access your favorite playlists and radio stations, and more.
DIY security systems
Don’t want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.
CES 2017 Pick: The Canary Flex, for just $199, has a wide range of accessories and its own WiFi component so you can put your camera wherever you need it, whether it’s tucked into the corner, or hanging discreetly from your porch.
The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can be controlled remotely from your smartphone — so if you leave the house and can’t remember if you turned off the stove, you can check in and turn it off using your smartphone app.
While appliances aren’t always included in a home sale, they do make for interesting features that keep your home top of mind to buyers.
CES 2017 Pick: The LG Smart Instaview ($2,000 – $7,000 based on capacity) is a fully Alexa-enabled refrigerator that enables you to order groceries and play music simply by talking to it. Equipped with internal cameras so you can keep tabs on your food, you can also knock twice on the smart screen and it goes translucent, revealing your refrigerator’s contents.
One of the easiest, most affordable smart home upgrades you can make is to add smart plugs to your home. These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.
CES 2017 Pick: The Belkin WeMo Mini, $35, makes the smart home simple. Plug one into one of your existing plugs, plug something else into it, and you’ll be able to turn that thing on and off from your phone, or automate it to turn on and off at specific times, and better yet, it integrates with platforms like IFTTT, Nest, Google Home, and Alexa.
Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today’s home temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a particularly cold day. Some smart thermostats learn from household behavior and adjust the temperature to meet your family’s needs and save energy, while others adjust based on the number of people in a room. And several can now be operated via voice-controlled virtual assistants.
CES 2017 Pick: The Carrier Côr® WiFi Thermostat aims to be the new Nest, and with its advanced controls that estimate how much money you’re saving on your electric bill, thermal characteristics analysis to create athe ideal temperature settings, and integration with Amazon Echo and Apple HomeKit, it is well on it’s way there. The Côr® family has a wide range of thermostats to fit every budget, from WiFi capable units to more attractively priced, fully programmable models.
“Many of these smart home features are surprisingly easy and affordable to install,” Lewis says. “Sellers who are open to the idea of investing a little money to possibly help get a speedier sale, may want to consider adding the smart features buyers will be looking for in 2017.”
If you’re thinking of selling your home, speak to a RE/MAX Masterpiece Agent today. Find your agent here.
Discover the Neighborhood
Smart Home products mentioned above available at the following St. Lucie and Martin County retailers:
Bed Bath & Beyond
Port St. Lucie South, The Landing at Tradition | 10856 SW Village Parkway, Port St. Lucie, FL 34987 | (772) 345-2420
Stuart Area, Near the Treasure Coast Mall | 2450 NW Federal Highway, Stuart, FL 34994 | (772) 692-2231
Stuart Area, Near the Treasure Coast Mall | 2555 NW Federal Highway, Stuart, FL 34994 | (772) 692-7188
Jensen Beach Area, Near the Treasure Coast Mall | 3451 NW Federal Highway, Jensen Beach, FL 34957 | (772) 692-9000
St. Lucie West | 700 SW St. Lucie West Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986 | (772) 878-4206
Port St. Lucie South, Near Tradition | 2200 SW Gaitlin Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, FL 34953 | (772) 204-9829
Stuart Area | 3030 SE Federal Highway, Stuart, FL 34994 | (772) 223-7216
Jensen Beach Area |4100 NW Federal Highway, Jensen Beach, FL 34957 | (772) 692-7745
St. Lucie West | 701 NW St. Lucie West Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986 | (772) 204-7160
Port St. Lucie South, The Landing at Tradition | 10720 SW Village Parkway, Port St. Lucie, FL 34987 | (772) 293-6152
Stuart Area, Near the Treasure Coast Mall | 2650 NW Federal Highway, Stuart, FL 34994 | (772) 692-3388