What to Know About Buying/Selling a Home With Smart Devices
Smart devices, such as wifi thermostats, video doorbells, and more can bring a wealth of simplicity and convenience to your home. These days, almost everyone has something in their home that would be considered a smart device. But what happens with these items when it comes time to sell? What do you need to know if you are buying a home with smart devices?
Selling a Home With Smart Devices
One of the most important things that you need to understand about selling a home with smart devices is what must stay and what can go. Oftentimes, smart devices will meet the definition of a “fixture”, meaning that unless they are specifically excluded in the contract, they will have to stay with the house. We advise all sellers to remove any smart devices that they want to take with them from the home before listing. This ensures that any smart devices that you wish to bring along with you to your new home can come without any breach of the contract.
You should then make a list of all of the smart devices that will stay after the home sale, including garage door openers, smart locks, video doorbells, security systems, wifi thermostats, smart lighting, and anything else you can think of. Showcasing the devices that are staying with the home makes a great selling point and could really set you apart from the competition.
When smart devices are involved in a home sale the seller’s privacy and personal information must be protected. It is common for smart devices to hold sensitive personal information. As a seller, you will want to remove your personal information from all smart devices and reset them to factory settings if possible. This can be done by consulting the owner’s manual or website of the smart device manufacturer, which will often walk you through the steps to clear your information and reset devices. This is incredibly important since it helps ensure your private information is not shared with the new homeowners and is often necessary to allow the buyers to set up their own accounts to activate the devices in their name. Use the list you made of all the smart devices in the home to be sure you don’t miss anything.
Finally, if you have any of the original boxes or manuals that belong to any smart devices that are staying with the home, you should leave them there for the new owners to refer to if needed.
Buying a Home With Smart Devices
Having a home already connected with smart devices can be very appealing, but there are some important steps to take for your security. As a buyer, you should open new accounts and install any updates to the devices as soon as possible. Getting a list of all the home’s smart devices from the seller will help ensure you do not miss anything. If the seller has not already done so, you should reset all devices and update all passwords, so that no one has any unauthorized access to your devices. Even if you are moving into a new construction home, this is still a critical step to ensure your privacy and security, as you do not know who may have had access to the devices.
Ask the seller for as much information on any smart devices as possible, including manuals, manufacturers, and model numbers, so you can look up any directions or contact customer support for any of the devices if needed.
The most important thing that both sellers and buyers need to know about a home with smart devices, is that if not transferred properly, both parties' privacy and security can be at risk. It is important that both parties follow the advice in this article to ensure a smooth transition.
Looking to buy or sell a home in the St. Louis area?
The Chad Wilson Group is a team of real estate professionals helping people just like you in the Greater St. Louis Area (St. Charles, St. Louis, Warren, and Lincoln Counties). Whether you are a first-time or an experienced home buyer or seller, we will work on your behalf as experts in your corner throughout the entire process to help make everything easier and more manageable. Our team will be there to guide you every step of the way and answer any and all questions you may have about the process. Contact us or fill out the form below with any questions you may have or to get the process started!