February 2020: The Smart Home Dilemma

Dated: 06/05/2020

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The Smart Home Dilemma:

I love tech despite the fact I’m not very-tech savvy; I think there is a really place for tech advancement when it makes my day a bit easier or better organized.  The not so new trend of smart homes is now very evident and I had my first experience with a smart home during a buyer client showing.  I was showing a beautiful home in the East end as per the private remarks (instructions  only provided to realtors on listings) it is a smart home.  The instructions further specified some helpful commands to use for showings, to tell you I was excited about the showing was an understatement, but I am a professional so I contained myself.   My client and I walk in “Alexa, Turn on Lights” I say with a smile on my face and sure enough the lights in the kitchen came on.

So after my showing my client wasn’t as taken as I was with the Smart Home but It got me thinking about  what I am going to call “the smart home dilemma.”  While there are so many benefits to having a smart home there are also inevitably going to be some drawbacks.  If you are following me on Facebook @NormaRaeRLP then you have probably seen a few posts on this topic.  While I found it fun to be able to use the voice commands to turn on and off lights, my client felt uncomfortable in the house.  This house checked all of my clients want boxes and she was aware that it was a smart home prior to viewing, but she did not put in an offer.  Her viewpoint was something she couldn’t overcome.  Now, I know what you're probably thinking if you don’t like it then get rid of it. But that wasn’t the issue My client was concerned about her privacy while viewing the home.  She felt that perhaps the Seller was eavesdropping and she didn’t feel comfortable sharing her opinion of the property while inside; leaving her with a bad impression.

Okay back to the dilemma if you are going to make your home a smart home, do you sell it as a smart home? Do you disconnect all of your tech and take it with you? Most likely you will find 50/50 of people who like and dislike the technology.  In fact that house sold in less than 3 days over asking; so it didn’t affect the Sellers at all.  However, issues are likely to arise if you are planning on taking your tech with you and you haven’t properly identified all items, specifically excluded them in the transaction. For example, a Ring Door Bell is attached to the house, therefore it would be considered a fixture and expected to come with the sale of the property.

But what about my clients’ viewpoint, how do you get around the fact that privacy is a concern?  In theory, the Seller could have gained an unfair advantage by listening in to a conversation with a potential buyer and their realtor including possible offer prices, max budget or conditions even the negotiation strategy.  I’m sure in the future we will see rules and guidelines pertaining to smart homes and privacy.

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Norma Rae Mechetuk-Bradshaw

When you work with me, you can count on personal, attentive service, excellent knowledge of the area, great negotiation skills, marketing and sales strategies.....

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