10 smart home features buyers actually want

  • Coldwell Banker

    More homebuyers are starting to think snagging a "smart home" is a smart move.

    Where smart home features were once considered a fringe benefit, more buyers are demanding them, and agents are taking notice.

    A recent survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate showed that nearly two-thirds of its agents have found that homebuyers are more interested in homes with smart features and technology than they were just two to five years ago.

    Travis Gray, a sales associate affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Annapolis, Maryland, said he believes this trend will continue gaining popularity and will eventually become the new norm.

    "I equate it to stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops," Gray said. "Ten years ago it was great if you had them but it wasn't expected. But now you have to have them -- it's expected. And if homeowners don't have those features, they're installing them to sell their homes at a better price."

    His best guess is that many homebuyers will consider smart home features standard within the next three to seven years.

    But for many homeowners, it's one thing to say buyers want "smart features" and another to figure out which ones are really worth it. With that in mind, Coldwell Banker took a look at what was hot at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show, then it cross-referenced specific smart home products with its findings about what homebuyers prefer and came up with a list of the trendiest items.

    "These smart home features can basically be broken down into three different buckets," Gray said. "They're either for practical and functional use, for lifestyle and entertainment, or for safety and security."

    According to Gray, homeowners should have at least three smart home features -- ideally performing a diverse series of functions -- before they can reasonably market their properties as a "smart homes."

    Click ahead to see 10 smart home features buyers actually want.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns ThinkGlink.com, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.