Selling a home with a SmartThings setup - transferring the 'logic'

I’ve built a fairly straight-forward SmartThings setup at my home, mainly with lights, motion sensors, and buttons. I have lights coming on on timers, on motion, and on various button-presses.

I’m now about to sell my home. Many of the lights I’ve installed can only be operated through smartThings, so I’m somewhat obligated to disclose this to any buyer. I’m resigned to the idea leaving everything behind with the house (my switches, lights, etc) but - how do I transfer my programming ‘as is’, since it’s all basically tied to my ‘smartThings’ login?

My SmartThings account login is currently the same gmail (google mail) account I use for my Samsung Android phone, and for ‘all things google’, so I can’t just hand that over. Could I change the username/password on my Samsung SmartThings account, to something I COULD just hand over to a new owner? As in - set up a new email identity ‘’, then somehow assign that to my existing SmartThings setup, and then pass that on?

I just looked at my SmartThings account (I use a ‘Samsung Account’, not a ‘SmartThings Account’). I don’t see any way to change the email address.

I really don’t want to have to start from scratch building all my automations/routines with a new account, and I don’t even know how I’d go about doing that even if I wanted to!

I’d suggest reading the existing threads on selling a smart home. There’s quite a bit of advice there.

You should also definitely discuss this with your realtor, as there are legal requirements that apply in some jurisdictions in terms of both advertising the home for sale and warranties for any systems that were operational at the time the house was shown.

The short answer is that the usual advice is not to show the Home with any smart rules operational. Instead, set all the equipment back to factory setting and then leave it up to the new buyer to set it up for themselves if they choose to do so.

Almost all smart switches will still work as dumb switches, for example, there’s no reason you have to show the home with the smart features. But talk to your realtor, as this advice does vary from region to region depending on how popular smart home features are locally.

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The specific issues in my home are - there were never any wall switches linked to convenient wall outlets to control lighting by the time I bought it. So for example, when you walk into my bedroom, the wall switches were all dedicated to ceiling lights and fans, and later the ceiling lights got removed, so they only control fans. So to turn on the bedside table lamp, I installed a ‘smart bulb’ in the lamp, and placed a ‘smart switch’ on the wall (Aeotec). I also installed a motion sensor as an alternative to the wall switch. I have similar issues in another room, and in the kitchen, I installed LED ‘strings’ that are only controlled through smart switches that I leave lying around as ‘remote controls’.

So if I ‘disabled’ everything, you’d have to walk into the dark bedroom and manually turn on the lamp; and in the kitchen, there’d be no way to turn on the cabinet lights.

I paid an electrician to get the existing wall switches to control the various wall sockets but he could not trace the wires and gave up! I did foresee this problem back then but gave up trying to fix it.

I’ll read the other threads - thanks for the pointer!

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Again, talk to the realtor, but you could replace these with hue bulbs and hue dimmer switches for purposes of selling the home. No cloud piece, no hub required, big name brand. No longterm support issues, and there’s no account to transfer. :sunglasses: :bulb:

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This is sounding good! I can just throw a few hundred $ at the problem, which in the context of a house sale, is not a big deal!

Is this an example of what you are talking about - ‘hue dimmer’ - . It says you need a ‘Hue hub’ for the ‘full experience’, but are you saying there is a ‘hub-less’ mode - less functional obviously - that will still allow me to turn on / off one light in one room? How about TWO lights in one room?

And if I have two rooms adjacent to each other, can I install two switches (one per room) and fairly easily ‘pair’ switch 1 / bulb 1 / room 1 and then pair switch 2 / bulb 2 / room 2, without much effort (and without them interfering with each other)? My additional challenge now is, I’m no longer at the property and won’t be returning until (hopefully) after the showings / sales contract - so I will need to describe the process to a friend over the phone.

Reading more about ‘Hue Bulbs’, seems like Philips have upgraded the tech to be bluetooth+zigbee to support hub-less operation (according to this article - New Philips Hue smart bulbs don’t need the Hue Bridge—but there’s a catch). It says “There’s a brand-new generation of Philips Hue smart bulbs coming to market that don’t require the Philips Bridge to be controlled with a smart device”. But it also says " … but there’s a catch. If you want to integrate the new Hue bulbs … with any of the more advanced Hue accessories (e.g., … the new Lutron Aurora dimmer), you’ll need to buy a Hue Bridge anyway."

I guess I need to research the Hue lineup! - this article (How to set up your Philips Hue lights without a Bridge) says " If you buy a Hue Dimmer Switch bundled with a Hue bulb, they’re already linked when you get them out of the box. All you need to do is screw the bulb into a vacant socket, turn the light switch on, and then put the battery in the Dimmer Switch."

Yes to both, as you found in your later research… :sunglasses:.

I believe you can have up to 10 bulbs per dimmer switch if you are not using the hue bridge.

Note that if they are set up this way they work essentially the same way a dumb switch works. You won’t get voice control or app control of the bulbs, which is part of what they are talking about as far as advanced features. It’s just “switch controls bulbs,“ but for a situation like yours, that might be a good candidate.

BTW, The Lutron Aurora dimmer switch has similar functionality but uses zigbee between the switch and the bulbs. And again, each switch can control up to about 10 bulbs. I have five of these in my own home and really like them because it’s a very intuitive dimming process for guests., It works just like an old style dumb rotary dimmer. It fits over the top of the existing dumb switch but it is not wired into the current. It can work with the hue bridge for more functionality, but it will work just fine for on/off/dim of the selected bulbs without it.


The Lutron won’t require any explanation, it’s a completely intuitive operation.

Are you planning on leaving the lamps (with smart bulbs) that are plugged into the outlets when you sell your home? I suppose you could leave the smart bulbs on the floor next to each outlet…but this seems like a stretch.

I agree that installing some Philips Hue Switches and Bulbs is an easy solution, but I am curious about the above question… :thinking:

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Good point. :sunglasses:

I suppose another alternative is to “rewind time“ and remove the ceiling fans and replace them with standard dumb ceiling fixtures with standard dumb wall switches.

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This is probably what I would do as well. Make sure the overhead switched lighting is put back in place either before showing the house, or as part of the purchase agreement. The realtor would know the best plan of action.

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Ah, yes, typically one does not leave lamps behind so I can see the point of your question! Currently, the realtor wants me to sell ‘furnished’ and I’m happy to oblige, so I would be leaving the lamps (and smart bulbs) behind.

That would be far more work than necessary, and I have no guarantee that the switches on the walls actually do control those central ceiling outlets (or their wires run to the box above the ceiling fans) - this was just speculation (when I moved in, I encountered two wall switches that did nothing, and a ceiling fan).

Here’s the latest plan. All showings will be ‘supervised’ by my realtor; all lights will be turned on ahead of time before a buyers sees anything. All remote switches and motion sensors will be removed from view. So the buyer will just see ‘lights that work’. Once we are under contract, there will be inspections and the inspector will likely discover that there are no obvious switches controlling some of the lights, and it will probably get written up as an issue. I will then respond that this is an issue that I addressed using home-automation solutions, and they could do likewise (and maybe recommend the ‘Hue’ bulbs/switches). If they want to haggle and knock off a few hundred $ for the issue, I don’t care.

For all my smart in-wall switches/dimmers, I will factory reset them before departure, and disclose ahead of time that they exist, and that they can optionally be programmed by the owner (but they work fine as standalone switches/dimmers).

For my ‘cloud enabled’ thermostats (ecobee) and garage door opener (Chamberlain / Liftmaster), I will simply write a disclosure that states that these two devices are optionally cloud enabled, but that they can function as standalone devices if desired, and that I will factory-reset them both on departure. For the thermostats, I forget now if the ‘factory default’ condition includes a basic ‘obvious’ heating / cooling program that will be in place for the new buyer on day 1.

My realtor is not at all concerned about this, so I’m the one doing all the worrying about this :slight_smile:

You need to talk to your realtor, but this is where the FTC warnings about “false advertising “come into play. If someone makes an offer to you they might not make an offer on another house, so there is a potential opportunity cost to them of believing that “lights that work “exist in your house.

In many US jurisdictions (although not all, it does vary) there are very specific rules about what you can have at a showing and what potential buyers are allowed to assume about what they see unless you have a specific list of declarations. but this does vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so your realtor should know.

What is almost universal in the US is that anything which is affixed to the wall has to stay and be in the same condition that it was during the showing. So the same light switches, the same sinks, the same curtain rods have to be left for the new buyers. But you can take the curtains in most jurisdictions. (A few specifically say that the curtains seen at the showing have to stay.)

Since you are indicating that your home is going to be offered “furnished,“ then that probably means you have to leave most of the stuff they will see, again, including the specific light switches. :thinking:

If your realtor isn’t at all concerned and you don’t live in Louisiana, you’re going to have to do more research on your own. If you live in Louisiana, there’s a seller disclosure form that you have to fill out and it’s not as comprehensive as some other states.

Remember though that in almost all states, even Louisiana, you are required to disclose anything that might affect the health of residents. And that includes rooms that don’t have light switches that work. Just sayin’…

I understand your point entirely, and I wish my realtor was more excited about this. But - I’m not there at the moment and I’m somewhat at her mercy for getting things done.

But I would ask - if you walk into a bedroom and see a bedside table lamp that is ‘on’, is there a realistic expectation that there is a wall switch to control that lamp? Typically, in any house I’ve ever lived in, you have lamps on both sides of the bed, and only one is controlled by a switch near the entry. So if you walk into a bedroom and see two bedside lamps lit, you certainly don’t expect BOTH lamps to be switchable from the entrance.

Taking this a bit further, a house purchase consists of disclosures, an offer, counter-offers, and then a very detailed property inspection. Even if nothing is done beforehand, the property inspection will reveal the ‘switch’ problem - at least, they did when I purchased this home (inspector wrote up that there was no way to turn on the lights from the entrance). So at that point, the buyer is fully aware of the situation, and negotiations take place based on the results of the inspection. When I read that in MY inspection report on the house, I just figured it would be easy to fix and ignored it. If the buyer has concerns, negotiate an adjustment.

Perhaps the best solution would be to add to my existing disclosure statement and say something like ‘wall sockets in Master Bedroom and Den are not controlled by wall switches’ and leave it at that. My preferred solution would be for my realtor to agree to install the Hue bulbs and switches (since I’m not there).

That would seem reasonable, but again, you just have to be sure you’re matching your local regulations. It’s not just about what happens after an offer is made, it also affects what happens before the offer is made, again because of that opportunity cost issue.

It may be that you don’t have to say anything as long as you don’t have the House set up so that the wall switches control the outlets at the time of the showing.