Top Ten Tips for Realtors for Selling a Smart Home the Smart Way

home automation

You're a realtor and the thought of demonstratingsmart home technology to a potential buyer might be somewhat daunting at the best of times. For a typical agent, it has long been a challenge to understand the mechanics of opening the gates, turning on and off the security system, or getting the garage door to open without mishap. But rest assured there is nothing to worry about – it's all quite easy, really.


In today's market, realtors must educate themselves about home theatre settings, in-wall speakers, motorized shades, and lighting controls. These components don't leave the home, so understanding their purpose is vital in winning the sale and closing the deal.

Clinton Howell, the founder and owner of H2 Systems Inc. in Burlington, ON, has the top ten tips to seamlessly sell a smart home at top dollar and avoid facing the unexpected.

shutterstock 1810815141. Ensure everything works: Ask questions, place a call
It's a fact. Some smart homes and their components may be outdated or no longer connected to the system. Ask the homeowner about what works and what doesn't, and suggest contacting a home integration service provider to ensure that all devices are working prior to the first showing or open house.

2. Get a demonstration and check it out
All iPads, remotes, and in-wall controllers serve a purpose. Ask the homeowner to give you a detailed walkthrough of all devices to ensure that when you're in the home theatre, during a showing that you don't suddenly turn everything off.

3. Test all lighting and motorized shades
Before a showing it's important to test all the lighting and motorized shades. Know what in-wall control dims the lighting or sets the lighting scene. Older shades can be noisy, so if you don't want to the client to see them, ensure that they are set properly before the showing. Remember, a home also needs to be dressed for success.

4. Turn it all on before client arrives
Setting the mood for a client is pertinent in making that sale. Especially in the home theatre, where it takes time for the projector to warm up, it's always best to arrive a ½ hour early to setup the theatre, motorized shades, and lighting scene. Getting the mood set helps close a sale and shows that you have done your homework. And the potential buyers will think you are beyond tech savvy.

5. Keep a movie going at all times in the home theatre room
During an open house, several potential buyers may arrive at once and you are unable to provide an individual demonstration of the smart home components. Having a movie playing at all times, in the home theatre room, allows the potential buyer to experience the room without waiting for you to attend to their needs. Keep in mind the right movie themes to display – popular family movies and even action movies that kids and parents enjoy are smart choices.

6. Stage the home integration settings to the potential buyer
With a smart home, you can set the ambiance for any occasion. During a viewing, it's always best to keep an iPad or iPhone, loaded with songs and different genres, and asking them what their music preference is. Another option is to have online music services available, like Pandora, Spotify or Rhapsody, so you are able to grab an artist of their choice and set the stage for a most engaging experience for them.

7. If it is old, update it: New is better!
Most realtors wouldn't list a home, at top dollar, if the hot tub or pool didn't work or was dated! Having a home integration system that doesn't work is much the same. Suggest contacting a home integration service provider to give an upgrade quote to get everything working up to quality standards before your first showing.

8. Create tailored settings for showings
Remember; you're only at the home when there is a showing and the settings on different devices can prove to be a challenge. Ask the homeowners to create tailored settings for a showing and request if you can have this accessible on your iPad or iPhone.

9. Learn about the outdoor integration components
Home integration extends farther than inside the shell of the home. Learn about the outdoor lighting controls, security system, outdoor audio, and pool settings. You may not need to demonstrate everything, but having good knowledge of what is available can be detrimental in winning or losing the sale.

10. Have a home integration specialist on hand
This may sound far-fetched and getting a home integration specialist to demonstrate components may come at a cost to you or the homeowner. However, there is no better person to explain the power of home integration than a specialist. Potential buyers have very unique and sometimes difficult questions, about home integration and having a professional on hand could lead to the sale. Be prepared and you will close a sale quicker than you think.

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