Furniture, paint, flowers and the plate of cookies have been a mainstay of staging a home for many years, but in the last couple of years smart home technology has become more prevalent and a great way to add real( not just perceived) value to a residential offering. Behind all of this is a new and rapidly expanding industry called the Internet of Things (IoT) and with this comes sensors and intelligence being built into everything from cars to baseball caps. So how does a real estate Broker or Agent know what smart home technologies will add value and appeal to their listing? We asked the experts at WallyLABS for some tips and these are the four that topped their list.
FUNCTION OR FUN?: In the IoT world we talk about “Peace of Mind” when we categorize certain smart home technologies. If the product prevents or mitigates loss from water, fire or theft, it addresses a basic human need to feel safe and secure. Lights that change colors and automated shades are fun, but have no function other than a “cool” factor. Staging the home for peace of mind is a sure way to meet those basic needs and show potential buyers how to protect their investment.
CAN I GET SOME HELP HERE?: In the same way a Home Warranty covers major appliance and HVAC failures, it’s far more appealing to a buyer that a sensing device that does more than just alert you to a problem. As a fire or security system can dispatch a fire truck or a police unit if an incident occurs, the Wally Rapid Response service will diagnose a leak and dispatch a certified plumber, if necessary. Staging with smart home technology that provides an end-to-end solution has real value to a buyer.
HOW MUCH SMART IS SMART?: Be smart about staging smart! As with any staging updates, make sure you don’t go overboard by upstaging the value of the homes in the neighborhood. AloT devices can span a wide range of costs and easily be more than you need or more than you can recoup in sale. You also don’t want to have too many competing products that reduce the overall appeal and add unnecessary complexity. Popular items are thermostats, smart door locks, and devices that protect (water, fire, security). Does the property need an Alexa and camera in every room? Probably not, and the expense would outweigh the benefit. Apply smart devices to what makes sense in the neighborhood and to the home value.
KEEP IT SIMPLE TO USE AND TRANSFER: Do a little research, make sure the devices and their apps are easy to use and easily transferable to the new homeowner. The value factor is lost if the technology is confusing or too technical. A relative recently bought a popular smart thermostat, and it was so confusing he ended up taking it out and replacing it with his old manual model. When you need help, there are now smart home installers around the country who are reasonably priced and stay on top of what’s new in this rapidly changing market. Hiring a professional will ensure the install is correct and you can get educated in how to best use the features of the technology.
There’s no doubt that smart technology has arrived, and like automobiles, more and more remodeling, accessorizing, and new home construction will include smart home technology installed in each home. Homeowners and builders have realized the “value-add” that marketing a smart home can bring to the properties sale price.