When Your Home Goes on the Market, Does your Smart Tech Go With It?
So you invested a lot of time and effort to customize your home with the newest technology and gadgets. From smart appliances to security systems, the power to make your house your own resides in the palm of your hand. But now you have to move: should you take your tech with you or leave it for the next homebuyers to purchase along with your home?
We’re going to explore the pros and cons of each decision to help you determine which solution is best for you.
Option 1: Keep your smart home technology
You decided that you love your home-enhancing gadgets and want to replicate your current setup in your future abode. For specific devices, this approach makes a lot of sense, particularly if:
- they didn't require professional installation and
- they're attached to your personal accounts.
Great examples of the devices you should take with you are your robot vacuum, smart trash can, smart light bulbs, video doorbell and your voice-based smart home assistant (such as Amazon Echo or Google Home) since they don’t add much incremental value to a home’s sale price. Not all buyers are looking to invest in smart home technology and may even be resistant to it, so it may not be in your best interest to alienate or repel prospective buyers.
Option 2: Sell your smart home technology
Since you don’t know what devices you’ll want in your future home and whether or not they’d make sense in your new home’s layout, you’ve opted to start fresh and leave your smart devices behind. This was wise of you since most of these appliances and devices had to be custom-installed into your home by a contracted expert. Not only would removing them be difficult and costly, but you’d have to reinvest in a future reinstallation. This is the case for smart home thermostats, full-home security systems, water sensor leak detectors for plumbing, and smart washers, dryers and washing machines.
In fact, tv realtor and contractor duo Drew and Jonathan Scott from HGTV's Property Brothers recommend viewing all this smart home technology as a hot-ticket investment. "Just don't uninstall when you move and are looking to sell,” Drew explained. "Whatever you have installed in your home, it's a feature to sell your house. A smart thermostat or light switch can be a great feature to talk up on your listing, helping raise the home's value. Leave it as a selling feature to get top dollar for your house."
Take note of the level of investment, installation, and resale value of your smart home technology and appliances before making a final decision, and have your realtor advise you on what’s attractive to members in your local housing market.
Realtor Paul Wakino from Keller Williams adds: “In a real estate transaction, anything fixed to the house comes with the house unless it is expressly written that it is not. [Such as] curtains, for example. As the transaction is negotiable, … if [the seller decides to take any items with them], they must expressly communicate that to the buyer. The buyer, knowing this, may still decide to request it as part of the sale. Basically, the seller and/or buyer must decide if they want to put forth the effort to extract it, or inherit and learn a system or implement their own, etc. As far as the mechanics of transition, I’d have to guess that the providers of the service would assist in both stopping and starting service [for the old and new homeowners].”