Should I Add Smart Technology to My Home Before Selling?
These days, the phrase on everyone’s lips is “smart technology.” If your home does not have it, you should know that buyers may be looking for it. This guide shows you some of the most common forms of smart technology you can add to your home, with some tips to help you decide which ones are the best investment.
Cautions About Smart Technology
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that smart technology is an industry in rapid development. This means the following:
- Products become obsolete quickly
- There are many brands on the market
- Interactivity may be limited
In short, you should be wary about the kinds of products that you install in your home as a way to impress buyers. Home buyers, especially buyers on the younger end of the spectrum, are accustomed to using various types of smart technology beyond smartphones. They may already have preferences about the best brands, and expect that whatever you have is going to be at the top of the line. Ask your real estate agent for recommendations before you start making investments, so that your upgrades will be appreciated by the average home buyer.
Full Home Automation vs Individual Technologies
There are a couple of different ways to look at smart home technology. There are fully-integrated home automation systems, that link a number of smart devices, appliances or functions together so that you can operate all of them from one system. However, a proprietary system that integrates everything may not be portable, should buyers want to take it with them when they eventually sell. Individual technologies are often less expensive and allow you to pick which brands and services you want to put into the home. On the downside, they have to be operated using different systems, without the ability to put them together. It may be difficult or impossible to integrate them. Think about the most practical approach to take for your selling needs, and start selecting options from there.
The concept of “smart homes” and home automation started with security. People wanted to know that their homes were secure beyond the standard lock and deadbolt. Electric garage doors are infamously easy to break into, so companies started to think about ways to solve this problem. With a smart home security arrangement, you can wire your garage doors and exterior doors into the system. Keyless entry allows you to open doors without needing to grab a key. Since the system is connected to the Internet, you can also confirm that your doors are closed and your security system is active, even if you are not at home.
Installing a smart thermostat may be one of the easiest pieces of smart technology you could add to your home. There is a lot of pressure on home sellers to prove that their properties are energy efficient. Short of replacing the furnace, air conditioner and water heater with the latest Energy Star-rated appliances, a smart thermostat can make a noticeable difference. Smart thermostats connect to the home’s HVAC system and Wi-Fi so that they can adjust temperature and monitor usage, providing reports in real-time. Since one of the biggest efficiency problems homeowners face is not knowing how to use their thermostats properly, some smart thermostats can even create settings based on homeowner preferences. This lowers the barrier to effective use. With the online connection, you can adjust settings remotely or even set the system to turn on the heat or cooling as you approach the house.
Full Home Automation
It probably comes as no surprise that the makers of a variety of individual smart technologies would start to move into the full home automation market. This is an area where you are probably seeing the most rapid development, which means that products get outdated quite quickly. The best-known include Amazon Echo (a.k.a. Alexa), and Apple’s HomeKit, designed to work with Siri, the voice-activated automation system for iOS. With these systems and their coordinated accessories, you may be able to turn on music, find recipes, make purchases online, adjust the lighting and turn on the television, all from the sound of your voice. However, these products are also highly proprietary, which means that your Apple products may not work with Echo, and vice versa.
Smart technology is a great way to update your home and help you compete with the Joneses. You should purchase products with care, however, since brand differences matter, and there may be disagreements among buyers as to the best models on the market. With these tips, you can determine which products are more likely to boost your home selling goals.