Use your Phone or Tablet to Help Control your Walkthroughs


For the homeowner, one of the most stressful events of the selling process is the unaccompanied walkthrough – when prospective buyers stroll through your home, smirking over your taste in upholstery and checking your drip pans for sludge. You’ve prepared your home as best you can for the walkthroughs, packing up your stuff, repairing damages, even baking apple pies before the walkthrough to give your kitchen that warm, welcoming smell. But once they’re in your home while you’re still at work, there’s not much you can do to improve their experience and convince them that your property is the perfect home for their family. Or is there?

If you’re willing to spend a little money, technology can give you an option you never thought you could have.

The Lutron RadioRA 2, an app for your iPad, gives you near-complete control over your home’s lighting, shades, temperature and appliances. If the walkthrough is scheduled while you’re at work, Turn your air conditioning down from energy-saving levels to a welcoming cool temp an hour before they arrive – and turn it back up when they’re gone. Light up your kitchen and living area with a bright, friendly flood of light, and give that unused bedroom a lower light level that helps downplay the flaws. Make sure your dishwasher has run its cycle before the prospects open the front door. Raise your mechanized window shades to allow a burst of natural light if it’s sunny out, and close them when it’s raining. And disable the burglar alarm just before they arrive and enable it again when they leave. The app can even control multiple homes, making it that much more useful for owners with multiple properties. The biggest drawback is that you must have a Lutron remote control system already installed. The app is quite inexpensive, but the Lutron system is considerably more of an initial outlay, both of time and expense, and should be installed professionally.

Control4MyHome is an app for your iPhone, iPad, Android or laptop that does much of what the Lutron does. Like the Lutron app, you must already have a Control4 system installed in your home for this app to function. C4MH does everything the Lutron system does, and can also control your media system (if you want soft jazz playing in the background while your prospects walk through your rooms, or even a pre-recorded message from you welcoming them to your home) and more. C4MH also lets you operate a Web camera system; you can, if you choose, monitor their visit and get some idea of what was popular and what did not impress.

If neither of these particular systems appeals to you, there are others on the market. The remote-control home system market is growing rapidly in almost every area of the US.

Obviously, having this kind of remote-control system installed in your home is itself a selling point. Most people think only rich people with yachts and polo ponies have their homes so equipped; giving them the opportunity to own a home outfitted with a sci-fi remote control system will impress just about any prospective homebuyer.

It’s worth considering installing and using such a system in your home. The initial expense is significant, but considering the ROI of such a system in the impact it will have on prospective homebuyers, it pays for itself and then some.