Problems with Buying and Selling Smart Homes…Get the CODE!

know-the-codeI’m not talking The Davinci Code here folks.  However, if you don’t have it, you’re dead in the water.  This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give the buyer who is making an offer on a luxury property with sophisticated home automation. You must have the Source Code or you can’t access or make changes to the system.  The source code is analogous to a log-in for a web page.  No code, no way into the back end.

This may seem automatic when the transfer of title takes place but it rarely happens.  The seller, for whatever reason, does not provide the code to the buyer for all that fancy equipment that manages the lights, audio, home theater, touchpanels and controls, gates, pool, motorized shades, climate control and security system and cameras.  You won’t be able to change a simple timer to reset your coffee pot if it’s wired in. And, you will have no recourse, unless – the Source Code provision is  written in the contract.  

Most home buyers and most real estate agents are not aware of the issues involved in buying and selling a luxury home with high-end technology.  Inspectors and appraisers have no idea how to value or test the systems.  Frankly, they do not include it in their assessment and may, in fact, exclude it in the contract.    It is incumbent on your real estate professional to know how to value home automation so that the seller realizes a return on their investment and the buyer has a smooth transition to ownership of a fully operational system.

Home Technology Inspections

Smart home technology changes at warp speed.  It  is impossible for real estate professionals, inspectors and appraisers to keep up with the prices of new equipment and the design and installation of systems.  I always obtain an independent technology system evaluation and inspection from a professional so that I know what the system is worth and that it is stable and working correctly.  They not only identify the source code and determine if it’s intact, but they evaluate the system documentation, determine if the system can be upgraded and identify parts that will not be compatible with new technology, like iPad integration. I can then provide this information to the appraiser and lender.

If you are interested in a high-end technology system for your home or office, click on the link for Audio One and ask for Jennifer Yosowitz.

Click on the link to read my blog about the latest and greatest in Ultra Luxury Smart Home Technology.

Thinking of buying or selling a smart home?  Call me at 305-898-1852 or email me at to set up a meeting.


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