Automation Adds Advantages When Selling Your Home

This is a guest post from Home Smart Home magazine, published by Control4.

On a street in Toronto, Canada, two neighborhood homes went up for sale at the exact same time. The homes had the exact same floorplan and square footage, and were on the same street. One home sold in three days. The other is still on the market, over two months later, with a reduced price. What’s the difference? Automation.
Marcel Mukerjee is the happy home seller in this case. His home was one of 20 or so spec homes built in a new development. After deciding to put his three-bedroom home up for sale, Marcel did something very smart—he automated the main floor. He hoped a small investment would help differentiate his home from the others on the market. When preparing to sell, Marcel added a system on the main floor, including eight lighting loads, a portable touch screen, door station, an integrated alarm system, and seven audio zones.
“I didn’t go crazy,” Marcel notes. By the open house, Marcel knew he had done the right thing. Prospective homebuyers were wowed. Marcel had set up a demo button to showcase the system: Lights came on and music kicked in throughout the floor. “It just made the place feel more warm,” Marcel notes.

 The homeowner programmed specific lighting and audio scenes to demo during the Open House, which led to a record-setting sale.

The homeowner programmed specific lighting and audio scenes to demo during the Open House, which led to a record-setting sale.

The home—and the system— attracted an offer within days. The buyers were familiar with automation but were especially impressed with how much could be integrated. Marcel agrees: “What they really liked was, they don’t have to worry about coming home at night, because the porch lights come on automatically.” The buyers also were wooed by the security system, especially the ability to get notifications or arm it remotely. The “Good Night” button, which shuts down all lighting and audio in the home, was a draw, as well. And, the potential new owners were happy to learn how easy it would be to expand the system if they wanted, as they determine their specific needs.

Three days later, Marcel had successfully sold his home. “I did quite well on it,” Marcel admits. In fact, the home set a record for a semi-detached home sale in this area of Toronto. And although the residence is a beauty in its own right—open floor plans, lots of natural light, new everything—Marcel is confident that automation is what set his home ahead of the pack.

Marcel’s real estate agent, Ralph Fox, agrees. “It definitely was an advantage,” Ralph says. “Automation is definitely the wave of the future.” Automation is steadily becoming a standard factor in new homes, especially in red-hot markets like Toronto, which, Ralph notes, sports one of the strongest development markets in North America. Automation abounds in the new condominium towers, but the value-add of a smart home system is something that all homeowners should consider. “People buy with emotion,” Ralph notes. “When you have a property that can connect emotionally with people from the outset, the likelihood that they’re going to convert to buyers significantly goes up.” The real advantage to selling a home with automation is that it really helps people envision themselves living in the home. “They can imagine themselves utilizing the functions,” Ralph adds. “Turning on all the lights, locking the door remotely…it really creates a unique experience.”
So, if you’re considering adding automation to your house, but you’re not sure you’ll be in that house forever (and who does that anymore?), rest assured: automation can increase your home’s appeal and make it that much easier to sell, if that day comes. Plus, you get the added benefit of enjoying an automated system while you live there. “That’s one of the things as an agent that drives me crazy,” Ralph admits. “People wait until they’re ready to sell a house to fix it up and make it really nice. I say, why don’t you just fix it up and live in it like that for three or four years and take the premium then?”
Meanwhile, Marcel is savoring his success. “Automation definitely helped sell the house, there’s no doubt about it,” he notes with a smile. The sale has sparked other projects on the block, as well—after witnessing Marcel’s quick turnover, two neighbors are adding automation to their homes. Perhaps that other struggling seller on the block will take note—a thought Marcel had when he visited his neighbor’s open house, telling him, “maybe you should see what I did in my place.”

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Leaving Your Smart Home On Vacation

You know that feeling you get when you arrive home after being gone for a week or two? You walk in and feel relieved, looking around at everything that’s yours - your furniture, your kitchen, your stuff on the walls. It looks almost a little unfamiliar, but also so very welcoming.

As you look around there’s a subtle checklist going through your head - doors locked, windows unbroken, stuff all where you left it - affirming that nothing bad happened while you were away.

Last month my family and I were out of town for two weeks. Other family and friends were gone as well, so we had no one to check on the house while we were away. Our outside lights are on an automatic timer year-round, but otherwise it would be pretty easy for anyone to tell that no one was home - except that our home is smart, so it looks like we’re there, even when we’re not.

When we’re leaving town, I press a button labeled “Vacation” on the touchscreen in our living room, and we head out the door.

While in “Vacation” mode, our home emulates our daily habits. Each evening, for instance, it mimics what we normally do. Lights in the living room turn on as it begins to get dark out. The TV turns on for a while. When it gets late, lights leading upstairs come on, then the lights in the bedroom, too. The TV turns itself off and before long, the lights in the living room darken. Eventually all the lights turn themselves off and the house is quiet.

For anyone watching outside, it looks like someone is home, moving throughout the house. And the schedule is randomized a bit each day, so it never happens exactly the same way twice.

When you’re away from home and no one is there to keep an eye on it, it’s such a relief to know your house can keep an eye on itself.

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The New Normal: Smart Home Technology

Ever wondered what living in a smart home was like?

Control4, our home automation provider, has produced a great video that shows off some of the features of the modern smart home. Check it out to see what today's technology can do!

Already familiar with Control4? This video also introduces a slew of new products and features just released, including touch screens, remotes, thermostats and more!

Spring Cleaning with Home Automation

This year Lexington had more snow than the city has seen in almost a century. After a winter like that, warmer weather and sunshine makes you feel like you can do just about anything. Which is a good thing, because this week my wife’s spring cleaning list showed up on our kitchen counter.

Her list will keep us busy cleaning windows and organizing the garage, but spring cleaning is about more than just tidying up the house. It’s about taking a fresh look at your home and starting anew. It’s an opportunity to improve your surroundings and make them line up more with your goals and desires. It’s about turning your home into an even better place to spend time.

Today more than ever, technology is taking a center focus in our lives. Watching a great movie or enjoying music in the background are among our favorite things each day. It got me thinking about some of the other “spring cleaning” things that can simplify the technology in your home.


Get One App to Control Everything In Your Home

With one of our home automation systems, you get an app on your phone that can control your TVs, music, lights, thermostats, security system - even door locks and sprinkler systems! If you go the DIY route and buy a bunch of individual solutions, you end up with a folder full of apps - one for the thermostat, one for the lights, another for each TV and video source. Plus, those apps don’t talk to one another, so you can’t, for instance, have your lights and music turn on when the garage door is opened. An all-in-one automation system is definitely the way to go!

Replace All Those Remotes With Just One

Many people we meet love watching TV, or seeing a new movie, or streaming a show on Netflix. They sit down after a long day and just want to relax, not fuss with a confusing set of remotes. Our universal remote solutions make any entertainment system easy for everyone to use. With a button press, you just select what you want to do, such as "Watch TV" or "Watch a Movie." The remote gets every device in sync, tuned to the right inputs, and ready to enjoy. It's amazingly simple.

Mount the TV for a Clean, Modern Look

Super-slim, thin-bezel TVs today are a work of art. But unlike art, they require stands, and wiring, and electricity. Add a few speakers and you’ve got the looks of a regular science experiment sitting in your living room. Ugh. Get rid of all that mess and clean up your living space with the clean look of a TV mounted on the wall - no wires, no plugs, just another piece of decor hanging there. Add a sound-bar floating just below it for the ultimate modern look with incredible sound for all your favorite shows and music.

These are just a few of the ways you can simplify your home’s technology while getting added benefits and features. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us for a free in-home demo of some of these solutions!

Contact us today for a free in-home demonstration.

What's an in-home demo like?

Goodnight, Home

On the nightstand next to my bed is a small keypad with a button labeled "Goodnight." The last thing I do every single day is push the Goodnight button.

When I push the Goodnight button, every light in our house turns off. The kitchen, the closets, the living room and the halls. Everything goes off. The lights in our bedroom slowly, gently fade as we get comfy under the covers.

It's a great way to end the day.

This is in stark contrast to what I used to do - walk around the house at night flipping off countless switches.

And that's not all the Goodnight button does. Since my lighting system also talks to the rest of my home, music and TVs throughout the house turn off with the lights. My garage door closes, the security system arms, and all my doors lock themselves. And all I had to do was push one button!

My home's lighting has other neat tricks, too. In the living room there's a "Relax" button that dims the lights to a perfect level for winding down and watching TV. In the kitchen there's "Cook" for bright overheads and under cabinets. "Dine" creates an atmosphere for mealtimes. Each button press sets the mood for just the right levels and focus of light. It's convenient, elegant, magical and fun.

Learn more about Lighting Control


Contact us today for a free in-home demonstration.

What's an in-home demo like?