Apple Home ownership

A friend of mine has a house with substantial home automation based on HomeKit and Apple Home - he has in excess of 100 individual devices registered. He is now selling the house, and wants to be able to pass on his home automation setup to the purchaser. Is there any way to transfer a complete Apple Home configuration to a new Apple ID? If not, why has Apple not considered this situation?

I don’t believe there is, it’s bound to the Apple ID of the person / the family if they’re on a family plan.

This is an interesting problem. I wonder if Apple has anyone thinking about it. It would make sense if a property could have an AppleID, rather than a person. Maybe my AppleID could be bound to a property’s AppleID, for licensing purposes, but then I would be allowed to pass title to the property’s AppleID, and the devices registered against the property’s AppleID, to someone else. If Apple was concerned about loss of revenue by passing control of devices to another person, then it could charge the new registrant of a property’s AppleID a fee – say, $1,000 – for the service.

This is a large 7-bedroom house in the USA, built and wired to my friend’s specifications. All lighting and heating is controlled through the Home app, with - as I said - in excess of 100 individual HomeKit devices. My friend achieved the current set-up over a period of months as the house build progressed and rooms were completed. He devoted many hours to making things work as he wanted - and remember that he knew what was there because he had bought and in many cases fitted it. Simply re-registering all those devices will be a fairly mammoth task, and then there are the many scenes and automations that need to be set up to make the house work sensibly. This is not a 10-minute job for the purchaser to do when he moves in - it would take my friend many hours, and he is completely familiar with what is there and its capabilities.

Of course, when setting up a system like like that, selling the property is the last thing on one’s mind. However, houses change hands whether or not they are automated, and it does seem very remiss of Apple not to have made any provision for that eventuality.

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I believe there is not a simple solution to this issue for your friend…

When we sold our home in 2020 the new owner wanted me to leave the Ring doorbell and a few smart plugs. I removed them from my Apple Home settings and gave him the QR codes that matched each plug/location. I did help him setup the Garage door opener.

This certainly is not over 100 devices like your friend has, but I can’t see an option that isn’t going to require setting up them all up again. Maybe if he leaving the Wifi system?

Hopefully someone else can offer a better solution for him. Honestly, I don’t really see this being Apple’s problem to solve.

Can you legally transfer an Apple ID person to person if they are not in your family. In this case you signed up for the account, agreed for the terms and conditions. Once transferred to new owner the person can claim he never agreed to them as it was not him/her who signed up for the account.
Also for password resets and verifications, for support how much of it is embedded with the original owners need.

How easy is it to remove your credit card or method of payment from an account? I’ve read there are ways to create an Apple ID without a credit card, but you can’t add family members without one. Correct?

Those sort of things are personal though. I doubt that a new owner would want the same scenes or automations.

But yes, it’s a shame there’s not a way to export the devices to be reimported easily into someone else’s account.

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I disagree with this. This is a significant use case which Apple should have thought of, but they didn’t.


Who is to say that Apple didn’t think about this and decided to leave this up to the homeowner. I would think that this would be a security and legal nightmare that wasn’t worth the time/effort for them to deal with.

I am not trying to argue, but I agree there should have been more options/limitations presented during HomeKit setup.


I agree. When I sell or give away any Apple device, I have to first sign out and wipe it clean of any and all data and settings.

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Thinking whether it would be possible to set up an iCloud family with the new owner, this would give the new owner access to everything after which the old owner leaves the family. Have not tested it, but sort of seems only logical option to transfer everything

Spent 4 minutes searching for answers online…

Feel free to share what you learn and I wish him Good Luck with his home sale!

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I’ve read reports that estimate the average cost of tech in an “automated home” at less than $1000. That says to me that home automation, for most people, is still a hobby. If that is true I can understand why Apple doesn’t see it as a priority.

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@MacGuyMI thanks for that. Sort of along the lines of my thinking. The article is now safe in Devonthink :wink:
HomePass is brilliant as are the other apps of the same developer.

FWIW, I think considering home “sellability” is something home automators should consider before selecting their devices and setting up automations.

Because I don’t want to deal with the hassle of training the new homeowner on how I’ve automated my home, I opted to install accessories that have a physical switch that’ll work regardless if the home is connected to HomeKit (or the internet for that matter.) The only exception is our door locks, but I kept the old ones which won’t take much time to swap out.

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Good point. A DIY home automation setup may be a negative for some potential buyers. A lot of people might not want a system if there is no one to call when they have a problem.