What Agents Want You to Know About Smart Homes

At last week’s Gen Blue conference, Coldwell Banker agents Danny Hertzberg and Angel Piontek took the mainstage to tell us what we need to know about buying and selling smart homes.

Americans are already riding the smart home wave – in fact, 44 percent of buyers who want move-in ready homes say smart home tech is a must. To help make getting a smart home easier Coldwell Banker introduced a Smart Home Staging Kit.

As with any new technology, there is an adoption curve when it comes to smart home. “We’re only in its infancy,” said Angel Piontek, an avid smart home fan and Realtor Associate with Coldwell Banker Elite in Fredericksburg, VA. “Demand for smart homes will only increase, and it’s important that buyers educate themselves on the technology and what they want as they begin touring smart homes.”

“Buyers now are willing to pay more and lean towards buying a smart home, while sellers are seeing smart home technology as an easy investment which will give their home a competitive advantage in a saturated market,” said Danny Hertzberg, a Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Miami Beach, FL. “Selling a smart home allows your property to stand out– it will likely sell sooner and sell for more money.”

And the numbers back this up – our 2016 Smart Home Marketplace survey found that over half of American homeowners would purchase or install smart home products if they were selling their home and knew that doing so would make it sell faster.

Both agents agree – money and energy savings are the two components of smart technology that their clients ask about most frequently.

“If stuck between two homes that are very similar, it comes down to the true cost of homeownership. If the seller is able to tell the buyer how much he or she saved on heating or cooling because of the pre-installed smart devices, the buyer will see something that sets the home apart and enhances their lifestyle in the long run,” says Angel.

So, what are the questions you should be asking your agent when buying a smart home?

  1. Is the smart home tech I see in the house going to stay installed after closing?
  2. Are there any service agreements or costs I’ll need to factor in?
  3. Can I test the smart home tech during my tour? If not, can the agent demo it for me?

And for those who are selling smart homes, here are some pro tips:

  1. Demo the products with your agent if they are unfamiliar with them. If the agent is able to show prospective buyers how to use the devices during the tour, the buyer will see its value and may be more likely to put in an offer quickly.
  2. Think about setting up a guest Wi-Fi account so that people touring your home can play with the smart home technology with their phones and get a feel for it. Seeing it in action will make them more likely to see its value.
  3. Of course, safety first! At closing, make sure you check in with your agent and the manufacturer to make sure all smart tech is reset to the factory defaults. This will keep all of your devices secure and make sure the new owners can customize as they’d like!
  4. If a home doesn’t have smart home technology consider these quick upgrades to make it a Coldwell Banker certified smart home.

Photo credit for cover image to Felipe Ariano

Senior Manager, Public Relations & Giving for Coldwell Banker. Grew up in Sarasota and attended college at Western Carolina University. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. She has been with this awesome brand for more than 15 years and can be found generating buzz about CB in every way possible. Athena helps to grow the brand’s position as the most storied real estate company within the industry and has led many high-profile endeavors; she was at the forefront of the brand’s pioneering smart home campaign, raised $6 million in two years to build 130 Habitat for Humanity homes, and led the Homes for Dogs program in partnership with Adopt-a-Pet.com that resulted in tens-of-thousands of dogs finding their furever home. She currently leads the CB Supports St. Jude program, which encourages the Coldwell Banker network’s 96,000+ real estate agents to make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for every real estate transaction they represent. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or planning her next travel adventure. She's the proud mom of three cats Jolene, Ziggy and Lucy.

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