Imagine your buyer client calling you in panic or frustration because the lights in their new home keep going on and off… the garage door is opening by itself… and the thermostat refuses to affect the temperature of the house. Would your first instinct be to suspect the house is haunted? (Bonus point available–that’s called a stigmatized property. Is that a required disclosure in Maine?)
Well, there might just be another explanation and an item for you to add to your closing checklist. (You do have one, right?) Here’s a link to a recent article in USA Today reporting how “As the Internet of Things finds itself into houses via connected devices, more and more homes contain hot new tech gadgets that can all too easily become unlocked digital backdoors.”
In non-technical language, if the seller forgets to reprogram his smartphone, he could end up opening the garage door of the home he sold.
Speaking of closing checklists, the article includes a link to a one-page “smarthome checklist” created by the Online Trust Alliance. It’s not exactly free of technical terms but is definitely worth a look. Sorry if it makes your head hurt! Those with kids have access to technical support with this language and these devices.
Seriously, there are some potential issues here to think about–including what electronics “go with the house” and what programming changes need to happen when a property changes hands.