Friday, September 16, 2011

MARKET TRENDS: Wire Your Home to Sell

Home buyers are ga-ga over gadgets.

A survey by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) says home security systems, home theater-wired systems, home automation management systems and energy management systems are hot selling points.

"There is a strong relationship between home technologies and the real estate market. While the market needs to recover before home technologies play a more important role in home sales, the industry can help prepare real estate agents to be comfortable in discussing these types of systems with their clients," said CEA's Rhonda Daniel.

CEA said the vast majority of real estate agents have encountered homes with installed technologies.

In the past 24 months, nine in 10 real estate agents have been involved in buying, selling or showing a plugged-in home equipped with technology ranging from more established systems such as monitored security (93 percent) and home theater or home theater-wired systems (89 percent) to newer technologies like home automation and management systems (54 percent) and energy management systems (51 percent).

More than half of real estate agents said they are excited by these homes and believe their clients' enthusiasm for technology mirrors their own. Nearly two-thirds of real estate agents said their clients are excited to see technologies in homes.

That's no surprise.

The soft economy is bringing more and more entertainment home as a cost-saving factor. That
means current home owners looking to sell should consider upgrading their home with at least one home technology system.

The recent survey of 1,793 real estate agents, members of the National Association of Realtors, sought to understand real estate agents' experiences with homes outfitted with installed technologies as well as their perception of the technology.

"The ideal goal for the consumer electronics industry is to have knowledgeable real estate agents who are excited and open to promoting technology as a selling feature of homes," Daniel said.

Half of surveyed agents expressed interest in learning more about installed home technologies, according to the CEA.

"Manufacturers and electronic systems contractors (ESCs) should be laying the ground work now to take advantage of the eventual upswing in the real estate market. Educating real estate agents on the benefits, value and functionalities of installed technologies now will demonstrate that the consumer electronics industry can be a trusted partner to equip them with the knowledge they are lacking," Daniel said.

Broderick Perkins September 1, 2011

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