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Leave, Keep or Sell: What to Do With Your Smart Home Devices When Moving

Smart home technology has gone mainstream. Shipments of smart home devices grew 39 percent in 2018, with 100 million devices worth $12 billion shipped globally, Futuresource Consulting estimates. By the end of this year, over half of U.S. homes will use smart home devices. The popularity of smart speaker systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant is helping propel the growth of the market. Security camera systems, smart thermostats, smart lighting and power systems lead the list of today’s most in-demand devices.

Growing smart home usage raises the practical dilemma of what you should do with your smart home devices when you move. Should you leave them behind or take them with you? If you leave them behind, can smart home devices add value to the market value of your home? Here’s an overview of your options for what to do with your smart home technology when you relocate.

Leave Your Equipment Installed to Enhance Your Home’s Value

One option when you move is to leave your smart home gear installed in order to enhance the sales appeal of your home, or even upgrade it to increase the value of your home. A 2018 Coldwell Banker survey found that over two-thirds of potential homeowners would prefer a home with preinstalled smart thermostats, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and security camera systems, while over six in 10 would prefer preinstalled smart locks and lighting. These items can add to the sales value of your home and, perhaps more importantly, make your home more appealing than other properties that lack smart features. Consumer Reports estimates that you can boost your home’s sales appeal by investing just $1,000 in basic smart home features, a fraction of the return on investment from a successful home sale. Investing more than this can even increase the value of your home.

One of the most popular smart home features you can invest in to appeal to potential home buyers is a security camera system. For instance, cutting-edge security provider Lorex Technology offers nocturnal 4K Ultra HD cameras that have resolution high enough to capture crucial identifying details such as hair or vehicle color even in low-light conditions. Another great investment is a smart thermostat, which can cut heating costs by 10 to 12 percent and cooling costs by 15 percent, Nest Labs reports. Not only that, these clever devices can do much more. The ecobee4 smart thermostat, for example, also has Amazon Alexa built in, so you can ask it adjust the temperature and then have it order your groceries.

These are great selling points your real estate agent can point out to potential buyers.

Take Your Tech With You

Another option is to take your smart home technology with you when you move. You may choose to leave certain equipment behind at your old residence and take other items with you. For instance, you might bring your smart speaker with you while leaving behind items such as smart thermostats. Or you can choose to take all your smart home technology with you to your new residence.

When deciding what to take with you and what to leave behind, asking a few simple questions can help you make your decision:

  • How easy is the item to transport? For instance, a smart speaker is considerably easier to move than a smart appliance.
  • How much does the item cost? Consider whether the value the device adds to your existing property outweighs the cost of losing or replacing the item.
  • Will the device appeal to home buyers? Items such as smart appliances, smart security camera systems and smart thermostats are in especially high demand.
  • Will you need the device when you move into your new property? If your property doesn’t already have a similar device installed, consider whether or not you’ll want to bring your existing device along.

Sell Your Existing Equipment

A third option is to sell your current smart home equipment. It makes sense to go this route if your new property already has better equipment than what you currently have. Another reason you might select this option is if you have outdated technology and you want to upgrade to the latest innovations.

You can sell your devices through websites that let you sell or trade in used electronics, such as eBay, Craigslist, Swappa or Amazon Trade-In. Before selling any smart home device, make sure that any sensitive personal data has been deleted. You may also need to update any apps you’re using to control your devices, so that when you use your smartphone to adjust your new smart thermostat, you’re not accidentally changing the temperature of your old house instead. You may be able to restore a device to its default settings by doing a factory reset, or you may need to consult the manufacturer. The Online Trust Alliance publishes a digital guide you can use to make sure your devices are secure when you move to a new home.

Smart home devices can add sales appeal and market value to your existing home if you leave them behind. You can also take them with you if you want them at your new home, or you can sell them and use the profits to upgrade to new equipment. Which option is right for you depends on factors such as how much sales appeal or value a device might add to your existing property, how much labor and cost would be involved in transporting your devices to your new property and whether you need an upgrade to the latest equipment. You may wish to discuss your options with you real estate agent before making a decision.

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