Are Smart Homes a Smart Move?

We had the great pleasure to attend the OREA Emerge Conference, taking a deeper look at current technologies in Real Estate.

Smart Homes and The Internet of Things played a great part in some of the discussions surrounding the event. What came to light is that many Realtors® have not fully absorbed how this changing technology can impact their clients, both as buyer and sellers.

The Technology Panel discussed at length the implications of home monitoring during the selling process. Many sellers were using these home technology systems to listen in on their prospective buyer’s during a showing, and one anecdote shared explained that an offer was rejected by the sellers based on conversations they had gained access to through home monitoring systems. It was a stark reminder that when working with Buyers one should be careful of comments shared within the confines of the home.

The panel shared that legally there is no right to privacy in another person’s home, outside of in the washroom, and thus there would be no onus on the seller to disclose this monitoring technology throughout.

As a buyer the panel also discussed the importance of ensuring that your Realtor® include specific clauses regarding the smart home features. For example, when purchasing a home with Nest technology it is important to remember to include that it be restored to factory settings to allow the new owners to takeover the device.

As with any new technology one must understand that its use comes with inherent privacy concerns and risks. A CBC marketplace report recently explored this issue when they hired a team of ethical hackers to penetrate one family’s smart home. With one phishing email and a team of three the door was unlocked and the white-hat hackers had full access to the home’s surveillance system. This didn’t take months of planning and prep work by the team, it all came together in a mere two hours.

National Post’s A Smart Home is a Less Private Home shared this interesting thought: “When we talk to members, a room of 100 people, I’ll ask them, ‘Who is concerned about data privacy?’ All 100 hands go up,” … ”’Great, who here uses Facebook?’ All 100 hands stay up.” People know that they should be concerned but convenience makes it easy to overlook the red flags. “There is a simple cost-benefit analysis: data privacy vs. convenience. For now, … the latter seems to be winning.”

Technology is finding more and more ways to be a part of our daily lives. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to be cognizant of the risks involved. Working with a Realtor® who is knowledgeable on current technologies can give you the advantage in negotiations and provide peace of mind, knowing that you have your bases covered.

Are you thinking of adding smart technology to your current home? Looking at investment properties that have this technology already integrated into its framework? Reach out today to ensure that you have all the information you need!

Stay informed!

Leave a Reply