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Buyers/Seller’s Guide to Securing a Smart Home

Buyers/Seller’s Guide to Securing a Smart Home

When a home filled with smart devices changes hands, it can create security risks for sellers and buyers. To help protect yourself, consider the following steps.


1. Make a list of all smart devices that will stay after the sale, including locks, lighting, thermostats, alarms, streaming video players, modems and wifi repeaters.

2. Immediately before closing, re-set all devices to factory defaults to wipe off email addresses, credit card numbers and other personal data.

3. If a device is tied to a personal email, create a free, generic email address (ex. and connect the device to that.

4. At closing, pass the generic email address and other smart home codes to buyers.


1. Ask sellers for manuals and manufacturer contact information for all smart devices.

2. Notify manufacturers of change of ownership and provide new contact information so they can send you updates and security patches.

3. Update all devices to the latest security software and firmware.

4. Change passwords and usernames of the devices.

5. Change access codes for door locks, gates and garage door openers.


1. Include an inventory of smart home devices in the contract to make sure all parties understand what will transfer with the sale.

2. Make a smart home device re-set part of the seller’s transaction checklist.

[Sources: Online Trust Alliance, National Association of Realtors, Florida Realtors ®]

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