How smart technology can help you sell a property

SELLING

By Allison Mifsud

30-05-2018 The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) connects people and things with each other, via the Internet, and the IoT market is currently worth over a billion dollars annually. In our daily lives, we are already enjoying the benefits of the IoT through smart technologies such as smart phones and apps, wearable health and fitness tracking devices, VR headsets and smart home speakers and assistants.

More and more property owners are looking for the competitive edge when it comes to selling their home, and innovations in smart home technologies are helping them do just that. The benefits of smart technology are being utilised in a variety of ways, and homeowners and real estate agents are becoming more interested in how they can be used, not only to make the property more attractive to buyers, but also to boost its final sale price. So can smart technology help you sell your home? In the past, home automation may have been perceived as being unnecessary and expensive, but now that our lifestyles have caught up with the technology, even the simplest of integrations can impress.

Investing as little as $1,000 - $2,000 can make a difference to your final sale price, perhaps adding an extra $10,000 or more in some cases. Any upgrades you make should be realistic though and suit the size and style of the property. A smallish home does not need all the bells and whistles, but a few simple integrations can make a huge difference overall.

At its most basic level, smart innovations could be as simple as power points with USB ports in them, or a video intercom at the front gate. However in a broader sense, home automation focuses more on how you interact with your home and control it digitally rather than manually. Keyless entry door locks are a great start – some offer a keypad with pin code entry, while others look like a normal keyhole that is opened by tapping your mobile phone to it. Sensor lighting along entry paths is not new but is also an effective way to build a positive perception about your property.

Most basic home automation packages include atmospheric controls such as sound, lighting and temperature, and these can be controlled inside the house or via your phone or computer when you are away from the house. Lighting can be controlled for personal preference and for security, with users able to turn lights on and off to mimic normal daily activity when they are away from the house for longer periods. Lighting innovations now also extend to energy saving globes with built in speakers allowing sound to be delivered to any room in the house, on demand and customised to user preferences. These devices fit into existing sockets and are controlled by an app on a phone or a smartwatch.

Many renovations and new builds are integrating smart wiring and energy solutions – including Ethernet and broadband cable access, home servers, and energy saving ports. These boost its capacity for stable and reliable power, Internet and cable services. Smart batteries enable homeowners generating their own solar power to direct the energy they create back into the home, the battery or the grid as they choose.

Integrating a comprehensive smart security system is another great move, with most homeowners wanting to feel safe and secure in their own home, while also reducing their insurance premiums. One of the most popular IoT devices is the sensor and literally millions of them are being produced all over the world these days. In the security context, sensors can detect motion, light and sound, and be fitted to windows, doors, outdoor paths, as well as be synced to security cameras, smart phones and security companies. Additional safety features can be incorporated too with smoke alarms or gas leak detectors.

Finally there is the world of smart appliances, which is where most of the newer innovations seem to be focused. From LCD control screens to Internet enabled fridges (allowing you to access your shopping list from the supermarket for example), in-appliance recipe storage and sensor cooking technologies – and that’s just in the kitchen. Smart TVs, integrated with other home entertainment devices, energy saving washing and drying machines for clothes and dishes and even smart blenders and vacuum cleaners. The world of home automation is no longer a thing of the future in reality, but with regard to buyer perception, it still creates a perception of prestige.

There are, however, some small but important things to note. If you do have smart technologies in place in your home. Make sure your real estate agent knows how to operate the smart technology, so they can clearly and efficiently demonstrate it to prospective buyers. Also, don’t forget to keep the user manuals, so they can be handed over to the next owners. Be sure to wipe all relevant information/data where applicable and restore systems to their original settings. This prevents your personal data being accessed and allows the new owners to set up the system from scratch based on their preferences.