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  1. Blog
  2. Are buyers looking for a smart home?
Add value to your home
16 July 2021

Are buyers looking for a smart home?

GetAgent Team

Table of contents

  1. 1. What is a smart home?
  2. 2. What smart home features are buyers looking for?
  3. 3. Potential return on investment
  4. 4. How to ensure your buyer can use the system from day one
  5. 5. What to do if your buyer asks you to remove your smart home system before completing the sale

As we embrace the internet of things (IoT) and home automation, more homeowners are considering whether these features are worth investing in before putting up their properties for sale.

Whether you're at the planning stage and considering what smart home system to use or have already installed one and are looking to sell your property, we'll help you navigate the topic.

What is a smart home?

Let's start with the basics. A smart home is where different components talk to each other using either wireless or wired digital signals, allowing you to control them with ease from anywhere with Wi-Fi.

For example, imagine being able to close your curtains while you're at the pub having a drink or turning the heating up as you leave the office as the temperature drops.

At the more sophisticated end of the smart home spectrum, imagine your home automation system responding to its environment without you having to do anything.

Your home would wake you slowly with your favourite music and soft lighting while opening the curtain. In your kitchen, a coffee machine brews a fresh cup of coffee.

Overall, a smart home system allows you to control lighting, power socket, curtains, heating, vacuuming, opening/shutting gates, home cinema set-ups and more. If it's a repeatable task, there's a high possibility you can automate it!

What smart home features are buyers looking for?

While not all home buyers are looking for smart features, many people - particularly young professionals - find the modern conveniences of smart homes appealing.

If you’re thinking about adding in some home automation features before selling, we’d suggest starting with the following, most popular options:

Security

You could add a few strategically placed wireless cameras around the outside of your home. These activate and start recording when they sense movement nearby. As they connect to your Wi-Fi, you can check your home is safe from anywhere.

Another worthwhile feature to consider is swapping your current door lock for a smart one. These turn your current deadbolt lock into something far more sophisticated. Using access codes that can be set and deleted remotely, you can control and track who enters your house and when.

Blinds

Turning your regular blinds into smart ones is a fairly straightforward and cheap upgrade, as you only need a motor. When choosing a motor, make sure that it’s compatible with your home automation system!

Curtains are much harder to make ‘smart’ as you'll need to replace your curtain poles with automated ones. This is quite an expensive upgrade, so think carefully about the likely return on investment, if you’re thinking about selling soon.

Heating

No homeowner wants to heat their home when it's empty or even vacant rooms for that matter! A smart heating system is not only better for the environment, it’ll dramatically reduce heating bills too - making it an appealing feature for potential buyers. The most basic way to automate your boiler is by changing your thermostat to a smart one.

As smart thermostats observe how you use your boiler and then start to automatically adjust it to work in line with what it thinks you'll do, your home can respond to your needs.

The next level up is to change all of your radiator valves for smart TRV valves allowing you to control the temperature of each room.

Lighting

There are many ways of automating interior lighting. The easiest is to use smart bulbs, which can be controlled either by your smartphone or current light switches.

A more sophisticated upgrade involves replacing your current light switches with smart ones. This allows you to use your existing bulbs in a smart way. For example creating ‘preset scenes’, which allow you to turn on/off multiple lights with a single click.

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Potential return on investment

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future, the most important thing to consider is whether a smart home upgrade will be worth the investment.

First, think about what features are most desirable for buyers. Security features, such as cameras, are likely to have large appeal. On the other hand, smart speakers - which can be transferred to your new home - are less likely to offer a big value upgrade

Secondly, look for deals when buying smart devices. Many large retailers have regular sales on home automation devices, so it’s worth shopping around, or waiting for things to go on offer.

Again, focus on adding features that are essential, easy to operate and don't require you to rewire your home to add them. By following these simple steps, you'll improve your chances of making a decent return.

Read more about the best value-boosting upgrades here

How to ensure your buyer can use the system from day one

Most potential buyers might want a smart home but don't have a clue where to start or even, what's possible. To ensure buyers understand the value of your home automation system, you'll want to explain it in detail to your estate agent and ensure they include details in the particulars. You may also want to demonstrate your system to the agent, so they can show it off during house viewings.

After you've sold your home, it's worth compiling manuals for every device into a single folder. You should take the time to write up a set of instructions and film some basic videos showing off the system.

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What to do if your buyer asks you to remove your smart home system before completing the sale

The key to finding a buyer who wants a smart home system is by explaining what it enables you to do. Don't expect the system to sell itself or for the buyer to know exactly how to use it. It’s likely that if you have a good home automation system in place, you’ll end up attracting a buyer that’s excited about the conveniences this will provide.

If you've explained the system well enough and have demonstrated it properly, and the buyer is still not on board, it’s worth negotiating with them to find a middle ground. You may find that a buyer will be willing to take the smart home system, or remove it themselves, if you offer a concession, such as leaving your white goods, or being flexible on the completion date.

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