3 Things You Need to Know If You’re Selling a Home with a Security System

published Sep 21, 2022
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Woman enters a code on the alarm keyboard at home
Credit: Getty Images/RossHelen

Smart home security systems have become very popular over the years. Not only are they easy to use and super accessible — systems like Ring and Google Nest can be connected directly to your phone so that you can get real-time data while you’re away — but they’ve become surprisingly affordable over the years. While they won’t offer a significant boost to your property value, they are a nice add-on that many buyers will be eager to have. But before you include your home security system into your sales contract, there are a few things that you need to know.

You have to transfer ownership.

An important thing that Rachel Black-Johnson of Century 21 Gavish Real Estate says many sellers forget to do in the hustle and bustle of packing up and getting ready to move is contacting the company that services their security system. “Leaving a home monitoring service or Ring [doorbell] for new buyers is a great value add,” she says. “But don’t forget to call the monitoring company and tell them the date you are moving so the new owners can set up the device(s).” 

You’ll need to check your contract.

Most modern security systems require an annual fee or membership charges so that you can store videos or access certain features. If you’re selling your home before that contract is up, you may be able to have a portion of your upfront payment returned to you once you terminate your service. Your contract should spell this out but you can likely double check with customer service when you notify them of your plans to move.

Finding this information out early in the process will also help you decide whether you want to leave your cameras behind as part of the sale of the house or if you want to negotiate a small fee for the transfer. 

You might hear something you don’t want to.

One of the many benefits of having a home security system is always knowing what’s going on at home, even when you’re not there. Of course, that may mean getting an earful of what potential buyers have to say about your home when they think no one is around. “When out on showings with buyers I always try to point out cameras or Ring systems and tell the buyers to keep their opinions to themselves about the property until we leave because the sellers are more than likely watching and listening,” Black-Johnson says. 

While it may be exciting to know who loves the way you’ve styled your kitchen or which buyers are likely to put in an offer when they get home, you may end up learning that people don’t really vibe with your sense of style. It’s probably best to avoid sitting in front of your video feed when hopeful homeowners are in your house.