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Many people say moving to a new home is one of the most stressful things in life. But according to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, that’s not strictly true. It’s not even in the top 30 most stressful events.
So if you’re about to move homes, relax. Just focus on getting as much money for your property as possible. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to add value to your home—even simple things like landscaping can add thousands of dollars.
But can tech also play a part? Can smart home upgrades increase your home’s resale value? Let’s take a closer look.
The Pros of Installing Smart Home Devices for Resale
Let’s consider some of the less tangible arguments about installing smart home devices before selling your home.
For many people, smart home technology provides an instant “wow” factor. In the same way that smart home tech can impress your friends, it can also influence prospective buyers.
Imagine how enthralled most people would be with something as simple as a house-wide wireless speaker system or smart lighting setup. Ultimately, smart homes are cool.
A1. Not sure of the importance of a smart home …but it sure is cool to be able to see my dog when away or turn my lights on and off! #ConstChat
— Coleen Dolan (@Coleen_Dolan) February 1, 2018
Furthermore, depending on where you live, there might be a growing expectation among buyers that homes should have smart devices.
In the same way that you wouldn’t buy a home without a web connection or running water, in a few years’ time, you might feel the same way about smart security systems and garage door openers. Having the devices might not add value to your home, but not having them could decrease its value.
Lastly, setting up a complete smart home is expensive and time-consuming. Even if they have an interest in smart home technology, a lot of people don’t have the time or money to start buying and installing endless devices. A ready-made smart home will appeal to those buyers.
The Cons of Installing Smart Home Devices for Resale
Smart home devices aren’t guaranteed selling points. There are a few circumstances where they could work against you.
For example, what happens if the interested party is not technologically literate? Or at the very least, has no interest in using tech to perform mundane tasks like turning on lights on or arming an alarm? The presence of excessive technology in the home could be a significant turn-off.
Similarly, problems could arise if the owner-to-be has a lot of smart home devices that they’re bringing with them. If their devices are of a higher quality than yours, seeing “cheap” or “dated” gadgets around the home might also be a turn-off.
Finally, the new owner might not have the right devices to use your gadgets. For example, if you’ve installed proprietary hardware that can only be accessed through an iOS app, but the new person uses Android, there will be difficulties.
Which Devices Should You Install?
Broadly speaking: the more impressive the device, the more reason to install it.
If you really want to make a difference to your home’s value, you need to think big. For example, solar panels offer cutting edge technology, they’re environmentally friendly, and they’ll save you money on your electricity bill. They’re an instant selling point for a buyer.
The same thing applies to many other devices that are on the cusp of becoming mainstream. You will probably be using several of them in the coming years; installing them ahead of time will reap dividends.
Examples include paving that generates power when walked or driven upon, robotic kitchen assistants, and smart mirrors that’ll recommend outfits and hairstyles based on the weather or current trends.
Which Devices Shouldn’t You Install?
At the other end of the scale, you shouldn’t expect to install a few Philips Hue lights and a smart security camera and suddenly add thousands to your home’s value. Many such devices don’t cost more than a few hundred dollars; a buyer isn’t going to pay extra for them.
Even slightly fancier equipment such as a built-in whole-of-house Sonos system isn’t going to add thousands, but it will have more impact than tech that relies on hubs and apps to perform routine tasks.
Also, remember not to install gadgets based on your personal preferences. While you might think smart locks provide time-saving benefits, buyers might look at one and see security issues and technical complications.
Instead, focus on devices that offer something tangible to a buyer—and remember that tangible benefits almost always come back to money.
Take Your Smart Home With You
You don’t have to leave your smart home. Sure, you’re unlikely to take solar panels or an electricity-generating driveway with you to your new home, but you can easily take many of your unfixed gadgets like smart lights and security cameras.
Given such devices only have a negligible impact on the value of your property, it might even save you money to take everything with you. You won’t need to buy everything as new for a second time.
Before Leaving Home
Finally, if you are selling a fully loaded smart home, you need to take some precautions before handing over the keys.
Make sure you delete any passwords, usernames, and personal information from your devices. Often, this entails performing a factory reset.
Also, remember to revoke any permissions that the gadgets have with other apps. For example, maybe your Philips Hue system is connected to your Google and IFTTT accounts, or perhaps your smart speakers are linked to your TV.
Bottom line: If you’re leaving any tech behind, you need to remove any trace of a connection between the old gadgets and your digital life.
Have You Sold a Smart Home?
In an article like this, it’s impossible for us to turn around and give you expected returns and discuss how much a particular device could affect your home’s value. There are too many brands and too many variables for us to be accurate.
Just be aware that these things often have a cumulative compounding effect. A home with smart lights and a smart alarm and smart cameras and a smart garage door opener and smart outdoor tech and some impressive big ticket smart home items will enjoy a greater rise in value than the sum of its parts.