The Home Automation Trend Is Selling Houses

Sarah Kirsch Richardson
Tru Realty


Home automation, or the use of “smart devices” and the Internet of Things inside homes, is more than just a trend: It’s a fundamental shift in how homes are sold, a key factor that has risen, much like the famous curb appeal, as a deciding concept for growing numbers of buyers.

Millennials, of course, are at the forefront of this new development. They are tech-savvy, know what smart features add value to homes, and willing to make buying decisions based on key home automation amenities. However, Xers are also finding out how convenient smart technology can be as well, especially when it comes to buying safe, comfortable retirement properties.

But before we go further, let’s take a look at exactly what home automation means, how it affects agents and the home automation features that are particularly worth knowing.


The Rise of Home Automation

In 2017, we saw home automation make its first big splash in the market: Smart home devices had become affordable, efficient, and ubiquitous enough to show up in every market. The latest devices were easy to install, compatible with each other, and had begun to replace traditional home Finally, tech-savvy buyers had begun looking for real estate and agents found that they appreciated home automation they didn’t have to install themselves.

In 2018, the trend solidified: Agents have begun to take notice of this new interest among buyers – so have builders, development agencies, landlords, and marketers. And it really can make a difference in home sales: 80% of homebuyers want smart technology in their homes, and 40% of realtors have found that smart home sell faster even if there is no change in price (appraisers and others continue to find it difficult to put a number on home automation, especially in change a fast-evolving market).


The Role Agents Play in Selling Smart Homes

So, what should real estate agents expect when it comes to home automation? Now is a key learning and adoption phase for any agent who isn’t already familiar with smart homes and smart features. Agents who are able to successfully identify and discuss smart home features can connect with younger generations looking for homes.

In other words, it’s a good idea to check out the smart features of a home, and mention any notable automation to clients. This may take a bit of extra research since home automation features are not always listed or discussed as an amenity (although this is becoming more common and new developments embrace smart features).

If the smart home world has passed you by and you don’t really feel comfortable talking about technology without the expertise to back it up, there are other options. Consider creating pamphlets that summarize the type of home automation a property has or directing potential buyer to websites that provide more information. Often simply listing the name and type of smart device is enough for savvy buyers to appreciate.


Which Home Automation Projects Provide the Greatest Results?

  • Smart Locking Devices and Alarms: Smart locks and alarms are on the top of almost every list of smart home features that buyers want. Both these features provide excellent security, without the traditional monthly monitoring fees that other security systems may have. These smart device can be monitored and control from afar with compatible apps. More complex systems add sensors, sirens, and other features: You can take a look at some of the best smart security kits at
  • Smart Lighting: Smart lighting is also on the top of many favorite smart feature lists. Smart lighting can be turned on or off on a schedule, via voice commands, or through an app. Advanced versions have app-controlled dimming and color changes.
  • Smart Detectors: Another popular safety feature, these smoke and CO detectors are smart, long lasting, and will send you an alert if their batteries get low.
  • Smart Thermostats: A smart thermostat packs a double punch: It makes it very easy to schedule temperatures and change the temperature on the fly, but it also helps homeowners save money on energy and get reports on their HVAC use.
  • Solar Features: Modern solar installations often have smart features. This is particularly desirable among homebuyers looking for solar heating or solar electricity since it makes the system much easier to monitor and control.
  • Energy and Water Efficiency: Smart meters and similar devices can monitor the electricity, water or energy used by a home, and provide ways to become more efficient.