Navigate the Sale of Smart Homes: A Guide for Real Estate Professionals

August 18, 2023

Sales Tips & TechniquesReal Estate TechnologySmart Homes

By: Brandon Doyle


ShareKnow what entices buyers and what needs to go when it comes to smart home features.

Close up hand of woman holding phone and use to control electronical multimedia mobile of real estate

When it’s time to sell a smart home, unique considerations come into play. This article will take you through essential steps to successfully selling a home outfitted with smart technology, using insights from a home that was recently listed for sale.

Decide What Stays and What Goes

The first step in preparing a smart home for sale is determining which devices stay with the home and which go with the seller. Some features are considered personal property, like hubs and voice assistants. Some automations and features may not work without the hubs or an active account that is connected to the internet. These are the items sellers would take with them.

Other features are considered a value-add and are big draws for buyers. Video doorbells, for example, are generally recommended to be left behind, providing an attractive feature for the next homeowner. Likewise, smart thermostats, switches and locks are big draws for buyers. These are usually better left behind, with sellers understanding that they can purchase a new one for their next home.

When you’ve determined what will stay and what will go, make a thorough inventory of all smart products in the home, with the aforementioned determination clearly noted by each product. Items that connect to the internet need to be reset for the new owner. Creating a complete listing of these items ensures a clean handoff.

Factory Reset and Privacy

Before listing, a seller will want to think about they want to leave behind and what they want to take with them. A smart lock, for example, is a device that sellers might leave behind. If they do, they must reset the master code and ensure the new owner can reconnect it to a new Wi-Fi network.

When dealing with devices that have a master code written on them, as some smart locks do, ensure this is covered or the device is secured. Always factory reset all smart devices so the next owner can maintain their privacy and set them up from scratch. Sellers may need to do this using the device’s app while it is still connected to the seller’s home network.


Smart homes often include infrastructure designed with the future in mind, such as wiring for a security system or Ethernet. When selling, ensure that prospective buyers are aware of these features, as they represent significant value. Even setups for potential future additions, like a NEMA 14-50 outlet for a potential electric vehicle charger, can be a selling point, especially for buyers considering an electric vehicle in the future.

Determine Value

Evaluate whether certain smart features add value to the home or are better off removed. For instance, smart locks, doorbells and thermostats generally enhance a home’s appeal, while buyers generally have varying opinions on security cameras or smart lighting.

In some instances, the cost of removing and replacing certain features, like smart switches, may outweigh the benefit of taking them to a new home. These switches can often still function as regular dimmers even without the smart capabilities, providing added value for the new owner whether they want to make use of the smart feature or not.

Selling a smart home is a process that calls for careful consideration of what adds value and what needs to be reset or removed. By following these steps, agents can help ensure a smooth and successful sale, benefiting both the seller and the new owner.

Brandon Doyle

Brandon Doyle

Brandon Doyle, ABR, e-PRO, is a second-generation real estate pro with RE/MAX Results in the Twin Cities.