RealTrends Q32021 BrokerPulse sees brokers still optimistic about the market, wary of competition and wondering when inventory will rise.

2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.’s Sean Black on the transaction revolution

Real estate is on its third revolution, from the digital revolution of the early 2000s to the information revolution kicked off by Trulia and Zillow to today's transaction revolution.


The RealTrends BrokerSource and HousingWire OpenHouse newsletters deliver twice weekly information on trends, strategies, analysis, people, and news shaping the real estate industry.

Listing a Smart Home: 5 Things to Ask Your Sellers

The world of real estate is competitive and fierce, but “smart homes” can give you a smart advantage. They offer more conveniences for buyers than traditional homes, and let’s face it—the technology fills most buyers with a sense of awe. Before you can sell a smart home, here are the questions to ask your sellers.

1. What are the passwords?

To demonstrate the capabilities of a smart home, you need access to the devices. Download the apps for the devices and request the passwords. If your sellers have voice-activated assistants, they should also disable the security settings, so they don’t respond to any voice. For smart locks, the sellers can give you their code and you can change it when they leave.

2. What costs are associated with these devices?

Most smart home upgrades allow homeowners to save money over time. Smart thermostats, lighting and energy monitors all reduce monthly energy use and expenses. However, subscription fees are associated with some services, like security systems and cloud storage. Ask your sellers for an outline of costs and savings, so potential buyers can assess whether they’d like to keep up the service.

3. Should buyers be concerned about privacy?

Recent events have made some people wary of smart home devices, but there are safeguards against security and privacy issues. Ask your sellers when they last updated the firmware of the devices. Up-to-date technology is more secure, which will put prospective buyers at ease.

4. Can other devices be added?

One homeowner may love the idea of color-changing LEDs on the porch, while another prefers a warm white bulb. Find out what upgrades sellers have yet to make and where buyers can customize their smart home. Inquire about whether the individual devices work as part of an integrated smart home hub. If the home’s security and automation services are set up through the local internet service provider, upgrades and changes are simple.

5. Which features have been most useful?

Ask your sellers what they most enjoyed about their smart home, and paint a picture for buyers about the features of the technology. Demonstrate the uses—it will sell the home faster than an explanation.


Patrick Hearn Patrick Hearn is a home automation expert and writer for XFINITY Home. He enjoys providing guidance on the benefits of smart technology from his home in Atlanta.

Most Popular Articles

Climate migration driving more buyers to Burlington, VT

An influx of buyers from California, Colorado, Florida and the tristate area are looking to buy in Burlington, Vermont. There’s just one problem: there’s hardly any inventory.

Oct 23, 2021 By

Latest Articles

Bidding wars are starting to cool off

For the fifth consecutive month the number of bidding wars on home sales declined, down to 58.9%, according to a new report from brokerage Redfin.

Oct 25, 2021 By