Home Staging: Pro Tips for Appealing to the Senses

By Nicholas Brown

Staging a home for sale is all about inspiring your buyer, and their senses are the avenue by which you connect with them. French novelist Honoré de Balzac once wrote “love is the poetry of the senses,” and specifically touching on each sense when staging a home creates atmosphere that inspires just that kind of poetic love. No matter the size or style of the home, there are a whole range of small things you can do to make it more appealing to aspiring homeowners (and help you lock in a sale!) Here's how to get started:

Sight is the sense most agents associate with staging. The placement of furniture, decor, plants and everything else is truly central to staging. What can get overlooked in the great production of staging is the most fundamental element to catching someone’s eye – light. Especially for homes whose layout prevents a lot of natural light from getting in, you will want to ensure that you have bright and vibrant light throughout the home you aim to sell. Dark homes can not only feel dreary, but they can also make it more difficult to show off some of the qualities that will help you sell the home from the flooring to any moulding touches and more. Light is also very important for getting good quality photographs, which in the era of online advertising is key to putting your best foot forward to sell homes. There’s a major difference in perception between houses with dark, grainy photographs and ones that look professionally shot when interpreting them in the digital space.

Smell is among the strongest and most personally connective senses we possess as humans. We associate different aromas with experience and memory to a degree where certain smells can make us comfortable and nostalgic or quite the opposite. People are consciously aware of smells that they like and dislike, and some argue that using fragrances or food smells to change buyer perspective is a big no-no. However, if you are choose natural, neutral aromas like lavender, sage, pine or other light woody fragrances, you can create a space that feels like home. Be aware of using fragrances that may cause people who are sensitive to aromas to be uncomfortable, and be smart about using things like incense and spray aerosols that can trigger asthma or allergies.

Taste is important because, frankly, everyone loves snacks. This is a simple fact of life. Food makes people feel more comfortable and welcome in a home, and can add a feeling of sophistication to your showing. While you can’t guarantee everyone will be interested in your hors d'oeuvres, a lot of people will appreciate some fresh fruit, mild cheeses, or even a glass or two of wine as they settle into what may be their new home. Avoid anything that is overly fragrant, like strong cheeses and cooked meats, but don’t be afraid to let the personality of the home inform the snack choice you make. For homes that are more down home and country cottage influenced, regional favorites can’t be beat, whereas if you’re catering to a higher society crowd your snacks should follow suit.

Hearing. Much like smell, music is deeply evocative for memory and affects the mood and comfort level of the listener. Playing music through a home you aim to sell does wonders for filling in the space, making it more comfortable for everyone walking through and giving a sense of personality to your staging. I would recommend something instrumental, preferably classical or piano to enhance without distracting from the surroundings. If you want to get more technical, music that is primarily structured around major chord progressions will energize listeners, whereas minor chords sound darker and can create a sense of melancholy (for an example, look what happens when you shift REM from minor to major. How happy it feels!). It’s also important to ensure your music isn’t too loud, as it can take away from your staging and make it more difficult for your buyers to converse about the home with one another and with you.

Touch. Chances are prospective buyers aren’t going to go around touching the walls and tiles to gauge their tactile appeal, but there is a strong likelihood they will have a seat at some point along the way (or be drawn towards touching a sofa, linens or the curtains). Touch is one of our key exploratory senses, used to judge a wide range of things from the temperature of an item to its softness or quality. Staging a home with comfortable, quality goods is one part of staging with touch. Another key element of touch: temperature. A home that is too hot or too cold will make buyers uncomfortable and distract them from the features you’re looking to showcase. An updated thermostat is not only a great selling point for the home, but helps you accurately and consistently set the temp for showings.

Nicholas Brown is a Los Angeles based writer and frequent contributor for JustRentToOwn.com. You can follow his Twitter at @justrenttoown  or check in at his blog.
 

This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


New Home Sales Rise in October

Sales of new single-family houses in October 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000, according to estimates released jointly recently by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau. This is 10.7 percent (±17.7%)* above the revised September rate of 447,000 and is 4.9 percent (±17.6%) above the October 2014 estimate of 472,000. 

The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2015 was $281,500; the average sales price was $366,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of September was 225,000. This represents a supply of 5.5 months at the current sales rate.

Estimates of houses sold and for sale by stage of construction are now available on a seasonally adjusted basis as well as not seasonally adjusted basis. Historic seasonally adjusted data will be available back to January 1999 here.

Read more about this release of new home sales here.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


Don’t Toss Those Used Dryer Sheets

By Barbara Pronin

If you’re throwing out those Snuggle sheets after drying a load of clothes, you could be making a big mistake. Housekeeping experts say those used, disposable fabric softening sheets can come in handy for all sorts of household chores:

  • Polish up the chrome – Use an old dryer sheet, moistened with just a bit of water, to remove soap scum and calcium and restore a clean shine to kitchen and bathroom faucets, shower heads and other plumbing fixtures.
  • Clean the clothes iron – Soleplate of your iron getting gunky? Put a used dryer sheet on the ironing board, set your iron on low, and run the iron over it until the tacky buildup is gone.
  • Stop static cling – Before you deal with a box full of pesky Styrofoam packing peanuts, or any other static-inducing stuff, rub a dryer sheet over the clothes you’re wearing to ward off static cling.
  • Make cutting easier – Wipe scissors blades every now and then with a used dryer sheet to prevent the shears from dulling over time.
  • De-gunk the oven racks – Built-up grease is the bane of every cook.  To clean the racks, soak them overnight in a tub full of dishwashing liquid and a handful of dryer sheets. In the morning, any remaining residue should wipe off easily.
  • Leave the sand at the beach – If your flip-flops track sand into the house even after you wipe them off, try wiping them with a dryer sheet and leave all the sand behind.
  • Shoo, fly – If you spend a lot of time outdoors, keep a few dryer sheets in your backpack for wiping down your arms and face. Chemicals in the sheets make them the next best thing to bug spray for keeping gnats and mosquitos from staying close.
  • Wash out paintbrushes – Cleaning up is the worst part of painting. To clean your brushes, soak them in a sink or basin full of warm water with a dryer sheet added. After a few hours, the paint residue should wash out easily.
  • Dust just about anything – You’ll find used dryer sheets attract dust like a magnet on floors, bookshelves, blinds and baseboards.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


Modest Home Price Gains to Stoke the Winter Fire

As the year draws to a close, housing continues to recalibrate and the Midwest maintains its impressive trend, according to Clear Capital's December 2015 HDI Market Report. November’s data shows Detroit up 135 percent from the trough, with other regional MSAs demonstrating strong growth. In January Clear Capital predicted that the Midwest would be a frontrunner this year for both homeowners and investors, and the region’s small percentage point gains, subsiding losses, and decreased volatility indicate steady improvement that is reflective of the greater recovery.

“As we approach the end of the year, the state of American housing is as we thought 2015 would play out—a wait-and-see year,” says Alex Villacorta, Ph.D., vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “The slow moderation of home prices back to historical rates of growth is the most defining attribute of the market over the year. Although housing continues to stabilize, there is still significant variability in individual market performance. For example, some Midwest markets still have a ways to go to return to their pre-bust levels, while other Western markets are seeing all-time highs. Perspective remains key.”

The peak real estate season has come and gone, and with it national home price appreciation has dropped 0.1 percentage points, from 0.9 percent to 0.8 percent over the quarter. The South has followed suit, mirroring the nation’s moderating gains exactly.

The West rose from 1.0 percent to 1.2 percent growth over the quarter, continuing its pattern of outpacing the rest of the nation. Clear Capital will continue to watch the West closely, asking ourselves if this region—identified by bubble-like behavior—will fall as quickly as it appears to be rising.

The Northeast also saw an increase in quarterly growth in November, a 0.1 percent uptick. This is an unexpected shift for a region that, just a few months prior, lagged behind the rest of the country in quarterly growth.

“Several MSAs reflect an interesting growth phenomenon uncharacteristic for this time of the year,” Villacorta says. “This upward trend is encouraging, but we must remember that gains are as much a function of how low prices have fallen as they are a sign of stabilization and outperformance. Investors and consumers alike could also be pushing upward pressure on demand as they rush to purchase existing inventory at current rates before an anticipated rate hike from the Fed arrives later this month.”

Providence, R.I.—a mainstay on the list of lowest performing markets until October—has seen a huge increase in growth, jumping from -0.8 percent quarterly growth in October to 3.1 percent in November. Gains of this magnitude are more expected during the early spring season, when markets typically gain momentum leading into the peak summer season.

Cleveland and Detroit have also seen a similar upward pattern during this typically slower season. Quarterly growth in Cleveland has bumped up 0.2 percent to 2.2 percent quarterly growth, while Detroit’s quarterly growth has upticked 0.1 percent from October to 2.5 percent quarterly growth in November.

While these increases are notable, bringing Cleveland 52.3 percent and Detroit a whopping 135.1 percent above trough, don’t be blindsided by the numbers. Cleveland is still -37.1 percent below peak while Detroit is -39.3 percent, demonstrating that both MSAs still have a long road to recovery ahead.

For more information, visit www.clearcapital.com

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


Housing Market Continues to Stabilize

The U.S. housing market continued to slowly stabilize with three additional metro areas entering their outer range of stable housing activity: Charleston, South Carolina; Sarasota, Florida; and Washington, DC. This news is according to Freddie Mac's recently released  Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®).

"When we observe MiMi's annual improvement, it's clear housing markets continue to recover with some markets firing on all cylinders, others inching along, and the vast majority still working to get back to their long-term benchmark normal range,” says Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer. “Regardless, nearly twice as many states and metro areas have entered their stable range of housing activity compared to a year ago. Western markets show little signs of slowing down with their local employment pictures continuing to improve and with applications to purchase a home still showing double-digit growth on an annual basis. In many Southern metro areas home sales are improving, which is good news, but their levels still remain depressed."
 
The national MiMi value stands at 81.3, indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity, while showing an improvement of +0.67 percent from August to September and a three-month improvement of +1.85 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +5.79 percent. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 37 percent, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7. 
 
Thirty of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (100), North Dakota (95.3), Montana (94.9), Hawaii (93.5) and Alaska (91.5) ranking in the top five. Compared to the same time last year, 19 states and the District of Columbia had MiMi values in a stable range.

Fifty of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno, Calif. (100.2), Austin, Texas (97.4), Honolulu, Hawaii (95.6), Salt Lake City, Utah(94.5) and Los Angeles, Calif. (94.3) ranking in the top five. Compared to the same time last year, 30 of the top 100 metros had MiMi values in a stable range.

The most improving states month-over-month were Florida (+1.58 percent), Colorado (+1.49 percent), South Carolina (+1.45 percent), Utah (+1.22 percent), and Mississippi (+1.21 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+13.34 percent), Oregon (+11.52 percent), Colorado (+11.31 percent), Washington (+10.49  percent) and Nevada (+10.14 percent).

The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Denver, CO (+1.85 percent). Colorado Springs, Colo. (+1.76 percent), Kansas City, MO (+1.75 percent), Stockton, Calif. (+1.53) and Sarasota, Fla. (+1.51 percent). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, Fla. (+17.46 percent), Cape Coral, Fla. (+16.78 percent), Tampa, Fla. (+15.93 percent), Sarasota, Fla. (+14.63 percent) and Denver, Colo. (+14.60).

In September, 46 of the 50 states and 92 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three- month trend. The same time last year, 37 of the 50 states, and 82 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com/mimi

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


Must Haves for Your Nursery

Must Haves for Your Nursery – Video Content



Green Rebate Now Available for Multifamily Borrowers

Green Rebate Now Available for Multifamily Borrowers Who Provide an Energy Star® Score
In hopes of encouraging energy efficiency and affordability in apartment properties and strengthening the market for green investments, a new Green Rebate is now available to borrowers on qualified property loans who voluntarily provide an ENERGY STAR® score with their loan documents, This rebate is offered by Freddie Mac.

“We are doing more than just saying energy efficiency is smart for businesses, their customers and the environment,” says Mitchell Resnick, vice president of capital markets for Freddie Mac Multifamily. “As one of the largest funders of multifamily properties in the nation, we are offering monetary incentives to boost awareness regarding energy consumption because it creates efficiency through lower utility costs, makes properties a better investment and more affordable for renters.”

Rental housing is home to a majority of the nation’s lower income households who work hard and are struggling with housing costs such as rent and utilities.

“Energy efficiency provides one of the greatest opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of multifamily housing, while at the same time making that housing more affordable,” says Michael Zatz, manager of the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Buildings Program. “The EPA commends Freddie Mac for recognizing the value of energy benchmarking as the first step to improving energy performance, and looks forward to working with Freddie Mac and its borrowers as they strive to reduce energy use at their properties.”

Freddie Mac also plans to eventually report the ENERGY STAR scores in its K-Deal multifamily mortgage-backed securities and is encouraging industry adoption of the tool.

The ENERGY STAR Score is available in the EPA’s Portfolio Manager® tool, a free online software platform that allows commercial building owners and managers to benchmark and track energy and water usage as well as greenhouse gas emissions. More than a dozen cities and counties across the country, including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Washington, DC, require energy tracking and reporting using Portfolio Manager.

“Investors understand that energy efficiency can have a positive impact on a property’s profitability, marketability, stability and market value, and some have even earmarked money for green investments,” Resnick adds. “A 10 percent decrease in energy use can result in a 1.5 percent increase in net operating income for a multifamily property.”

Facts:

  • The EPA estimates that the average commercial building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes, often resulting in higher operating costs.
  • If a 400,000 square-foot building pays $1 per square foot in energy costs, then cutting its consumption by 10 percent adds $40,000 to its net operating income, and could boost the property’s value by $800,000 assuming a 5 percent cap rate.
  • The EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool is the industry standard for energy, water, and greenhouse gas benchmarking, with over 400,000 properties representing more than 35 billion square feet of space using the tool.

More information on Portfolio Manager can be found at www.energystar.gov/benchmark and information on the ENERGY STAR Program for multifamily properties can be found at www.energystar.gov/multifamily.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


7 Reasons to Use a REALTOR® When Selling Your Home

7 Reasons to Use a REALTOR® When Selling Your Home
Selling your home can seem a daunting task. When you close that deal, you want to make sure that your home goes to the best buyer for the best price. It may seem cheaper to sell your home yourself, and many do; however, there are a lot of details to work through.

“Selling your home through a REALTOR® can help you make sure you get the best value overall,” says Kimberly Nicole, a REALTOR® based in The Woodlands/Houston, Texas metro area who caters to luxury homes and their clientele.

Nicole offers seven reasons why you should use a REALTOR® instead of selling your home yourself:

1. REALTORS® Know How to Navigate the Process – A REALTOR® is the manager of your home buying process. Nicole explains that you and your REALTOR® will begin with extensive discussions to head off any road blocks later on. Your REALTOR® is aware of your concerns, needs and priorities. They are there from the beginning to end, navigating each step of the way with you. Selling real estate can be a tricky business, full of regulations and involved steps. Your REALTOR® works for you, staying on top of the latest regulations and helping you meet them.

2. REALTORS® Know How to Professionally List the Property – In the age of Web 2.0, it’s not enough to upload your phone photos to a few random sites. Buyers expect professional photos, videos and flawless online presentation. To get the most exposure, you also need to manage your listing across multiple channels. REALTORS® will do all this for you, including coordinating with photographers and videographers to make sure your listing is top-notch. “Hitting the right emotional and responsive chords with buyers is the goal,” says Nicole. “Determine who the likely audience is, and market directly to that audience.”

3. REALTORS® Know How to Prepare Sellers – Before you sell, your home must be in the best condition possible. Your REALTOR® can advise you on what repairs need to be done, and they frequently know good contractors. You may have to have inspections done before you sell, and will probably have to do repairs. A REALTOR® can set up any required inspections and instruct you on how to prepare. Sometimes homeowners will take out a loan against the house to finance costly repairs, but this can’t be done while the house is on the market. A REALTOR® may help assess the situation, and then wait to list it until the repairs are completed.

4. REALTORS® Can Help Sellers Prepare for Showings – “Staging is extremely important,” says Nicole. “That first impression is vital.” Not only do all of the repairs need to be done, but if you still live there, the place must be kept clean and staged. This means everything from maintaining curbside appeal to the little details, like placing out a plate of cookies or laying out your best dishes in a table setting. She advises that a home must be open and inviting, and that smells, pets and lighting must all be taken into consideration. “We don’t want a home not selling because a buyer can’t see their own furniture in the home.” Your REALTOR® may also advise you to de-clutter certain closets and rearrange rooms. They may explain which personal touches add a “homey” look and which things detract from a potential buyer envisioning their own decor.

5. REALTORS® Can Help Get Buyers Through the Doors – REALTORS® not only get the traffic in, they know how to manage it. They can arrange and hold open houses in a way that gets as many visitors as possible. They also work with buyers so that showings are more convenient for you. This is especially important if you still live in the house. REALTORS® may also help weed through potential candidates so that you don’t waste your time with no-shows or non-serious buyers. “If a person needs to sell a house before buying another, the seller needs to know this,” says Nicole. This all factors in to final decisions and net proceeds.

6. REALTORS® Know How to Objectively Negotiate – You may think preparing and showing your home may be stressful, but receiving offers can be difficult. “The goal is to get the most money as the seller, and as the buyer the goal is to look at market value and if it’s priced appropriately. You don’t want to present an offer that’s an insult to the seller,” says Nicole. A REALTOR® can help you stay reasonable, without letting you take a lowball offer either. They will also be there to navigate a multi-bid and renegotiations. “Renegotiations fall apart all the time, and deals frequently don’t come through,” she says. “Each side has different concerns, and each party needs to know where the other stands.” Closing can be a confusing process, and there is a lot of paperwork to sign. Your REALTOR® has been through this many times and can explain everything you are signing and why. If you have any questions on anything, your REALTOR® is right there.

7. REALTORS® Know the Area – “The key to a good agent is knowing the area,” says Nicole. They know what the property values are, and have a good idea of future market fluctuations. They also know where and how to list your property for best results. Having a home listed on MLS is not enough. A good REALTOR® that is knowledgeable of the area is essential to getting the best deal on your home.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


5 Home Updates to Make before Fall

5 Home Updates to Make before Fall
September’s cool winds are just around the corner. Below are a few home maintenance tips to smooth your transition from summer to fall.

Service your systems. Checking your furnace and changing your furnace filter before the cold creeps in will put you ahead of the game. Make an appointment with a professional to have your heating system tune up.

Freeze-proof your faucets. The mere mention of a busted water pipe is enough to make any homeowner cringe. The pipe that is most likely to freeze is your outdoor faucets for hoses and sprinklers. To avoid cold-weather damage, install a freeze-proof faucet and sleep soundly.

Weather-proof those windows. Solidly sealed windows will help control your home’s temperature. When is the last time you checked your window’s weathering? Before fall, weatherstrip and caulk your windows to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. As soon as the temperatures begin to drop, replace those breezy summer drapes with heavier versions to keep your living space cozy until spring.

Clear gutters. It’s best to clear out your gutters at the change of every season. Before fall begins dropping its leaves, give your gutters a purge.

Sweep that chimney. Do you have a working fireplace? If so, it’s best to have a professional chimney sweep come take a look to make sure you don’t have any dangerous build up that could cause damage when you strike that first match come fall.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


Consumers Beginning to Embrace Smart-Home Technology Even If They Don’t Know It Yet

Consumers Beginning to Embrace Smart-Home Technology Even If They Don’t Know It Yet
From wireless speakers to automated vacuum cleaners, advanced “smart” devices are becoming increasingly common in the homes of Americans, aiming to make life simpler for all. However, language counts for a great deal when it comes to consumer attitudes and familiarity; nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans say they don’t know much about smart-home technology, while Nielsen’s Connected Life Report—a bi-annual study of consumer needs, preferences, attitudes, and behaviors around new and emerging technologies related to connected cars, homes, and wearables—finds that just over half of household decision makers (53 percent) say they know what connected home technology does.

This confusion may, however, be rooted in category headings more than in specific products. When asked generically about smart-home technology, just 7 percent of Americans say they own such a device; however, when presented more specifically with a list of devices from the smart-home category, 34 percent of Americans—nearly five times as many—indicate they already have at least one in their home. This disconnect signals a need for consumer engagement and education in this budding industry.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,225 adults surveyed online between May 20 and 26, 2015. Full results of the study, including data tables, can be found here.

Self-described early adopters are more likely than their counterparts to have one or more devices in their homes (59 percent vs. 37 percent mid-adopters and 20 percent late adopters).

The most popular devices currently owned are wireless speaker systems (17 percent), smart thermostats (11 percent), and smart/wireless home security and monitoring systems (9 percent), with many of the same devices making repeat appearances atop the list of devices Americans would consider for future purchases: smart thermostats (40 percent), smart lighting (37 percent), wireless speaker systems (35 percent) and smart/wireless home security and monitoring systems (35 percent).

Consumers appear hesitant to purchase certain devices despite respectable awareness levels, indicating there may be ample room to better communicate the benefits of these devices. Nearly half (48 percent) say they’ve heard of smart-home security systems and don’t want one, while nearly six in ten (58 percent) say the same about domestic robots and 46 percent say the same for smart/connected refrigerators.

On the other hand, for several devices, the largest barrier appears to be awareness itself. Over half (51 percent) have never heard of water detectors that connect to Wi-Fi and 42 percent say the same for smart/connected laundry machines.

With 88 percent of Americans believing these devices are too expensive, it should come as no surprise that, when probed on potential “tipping points” when they will be likely to consider purchasing such technology, the highest percentage by a wide margin (37 percent) say they will consider purchasing smart-home technology when it drops to a price they think is reasonable. Another 9 percent will wait until the “bugs” have been worked out and 12 percent will never consider buying smart home technology.

Matures and Baby Boomers are more likely to say they’ll never consider buying smart-home technology compared to their younger counterparts (20 percent Matures and 17 percent Baby Boomers vs. 10 percent Gen Xers & 6 percent Millennials).

Notably, two in 10 (21 percent) Americans are not sure at what point they would consider purchasing this kind of technology—further signaling confusion in this still-new market segment.

Potential Perks

A majority of Americans believe there are perks for homeowners in smart-home technology, with over six in ten (61 percent) saying household devices that can connect to the Internet are good for homeowners.

Vast majorities of adults feel it’s important that smart-home technology saves money (91 percent), conserves energy (90 percent), helps keep them and/or their family safe (89 percent), and protects property from theft/vandalism (88 percent).

However, far fewer Americans believe the technology currently offers these benefits. Just half (50 percent) believe the technology currently helps save money, while six in ten or fewer say smart home technology currently conserves energy (59 percent), helps keep them and/or their family safe (55 percent), and protects property from theft/vandalism (57 percent).

Three quarters of Americans also feel it is important that this technology save them time (78 percent) and offer the ability to adjust to their preferences and behaviors (74 percent), while just 42 percent each say the technology currently offers these benefits. Americans are nearly split on whether it’s important that the technology enable them to better care for pets (55 percent important vs. 45 percent not important) and reducing the likelihood of running out of household products (53 percent important vs. 47 percent not important), which is good considering less than two in ten feel the technology offers these benefits (17 percent and 18 percent, respectively).

Among pet owners, 71 percent feel it’s important that smart-home technology enable them to better care for their furry, scaly or feathery friends while only 22 percent believe the technology currently offers this benefit.

Regardless of the status of these current and potential benefits, many Americans believe smart-home technology will start to have an impact on them within the next five years. Over half (51 percent) say smart-home technology will improve their quality of life within the next five years and 43 percent say it will have a big impact on how they manage their home within the next five years. Education efforts focused on more clearly communicating and demonstrating the benefits of these devices may help to drive further consumer excitement.

Remaining Questions and Concerns

While it may be clear what the expected and perceived benefits are, with 78 percent of Americans saying they expect newly built homes to include smart-home technology within the next five years, it’s no surprise that some concerns still remain. Seven in ten Americans believe smart-home technology makes it easier to steal personal information/data (71 percent) and wonder whether smart-home devices will perform basic functions as well as their traditional counterparts do (70 percent).

Despite the concerns and questions that exist, most Americans clearly believe this technology is on its way and here to stay, with less than three in ten (27 percent) doubting that smart technology will catch on.

To see other recent Harris Polls, visit TheHarrisPoll.com.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact us at 866-977-7623.