In a world where selling a home is already hindered by the economy and a generation that is hesitant to buy, smart home technology is making things even harder.
According to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC and Parks Associates, buyers are redefining “move-in ready” to include either installed smart home tech or installation-ready homes.
Why This Trend Sucks.
Selling a house is already a difficult experience, so managing shifting expectations is always going to be a bummer. Where you used to have to spend a weekend or two touching up paint (or covering up some bad decisions), now you have to consider installing technology that might require hiding wires in walls and other larger-scale projects. The ROI also isn’t that great, since smart home technology is still new. Buyers are expecting sellers to make these investments to get the home “ready” to sell, but they aren’t necessarily ready to see the selling prices of homes go up to offset the cost. Installing smart home technology is definitely way more expensive than a few cans of paint.
The other problem with installing technology in your house before you sell it is that it could make it less sellable. How can you be sure which smart home technology they want? Even if you know what they want, there are a lot of brands and systems to choose from. Smart home technology doesn’t have a neutral version, like wall paint, and once it is installed, it’s expensive to replace.
Why This Trend Doesn’t Suck.
There are two sides to every coin, though, and there are actually some good things about this trend. Old houses are famously hard to sell, and a coat of paint isn’t going to make an old home feel new. But installing some modern technology? That actually will make an older home feel newer. If you’re selling an older home with upgraded smart home technology, and you’re up against a newer home that doesn’t have that upgrade, you are more likely to make that sale. This is huge for anyone that has an older home.
The other reason that this trend doesn’t suck is because it means that new construction is going to have to respond to the trend and start incorporating smart home technology into their builds, or at least build for it be installed.
What Does This Trend Mean for the Future of Real Estate?
I don’t really know what this trend means for the future of real estate, but I can tell you what I want it to mean. I want it to mean that there is a whole new era of reality television home flipping on the horizon. I’m hoping that there is some savvy group of kids that are about to graduate college but don’t want to be stuck working for the man or working in a cubicle. This group is smart and modern, and they want to work outdoors and on the road. And those will be the next generation of house flippers. They will buy old homes, and as they upgrade the guts of the homes, they will build for and install smart home technology. And HGTV and film it all.