Ever feel like you are being watched?
How about when you are shopping for a home? Would that be a little creepy?
Do you think it is ok for home sellers to watch and or record you when you are looking at their home?
Not long ago, it would be very uncommon for a seller to record your every move or your seemingly private conversation with your real estate agent while you are looking at their home. Fast forward to today where video surveillance technology and “smart homes” have become more advanced and the practice has become much more common. Smart home cameras are becoming more affordable, common and a larger part of our every day lives.
I double dog dare you to click the video below and try to not get that song stuck in your head all day…
As homes become smarter, real estate agents and home buyers are increasingly finding there’s an extra set of eyes and ears on them as they tour properties for sale. – Andrea Riquier via MarketWatch
New questions and concerns are floating around in our heads about privacy, courtesy and the potential liabilities of home buyers being “spied on” while looking at homes for sale.
As a home seller, should you be gaining intelligence on these potential buyers? Can you gain valuable feedback by listening to their conversations while they walk around your home? Heck, if you hear a buyer squealing with joy while telling their agent how perfect this home is for your family, could it effect how you react to their offer?
Another fun and interesting scenario would be this: What if the potential buyer is less than flattering while talking about your home, your decorating touches, your style? Could this be something you’d rather not hear?
Safe, Secure, Legal??
Video surveillance cameras are used by agents and home sellers in many different ways. I’ve heard of agents who feel like their use at a vacant open house can be a safety precaution. Additionally, rules and laws differ from state to state when it comes to the legality of using cameras and or recording devices in a home. Privacy laws, disclosure laws and ethics should also be a part of the conversation when talking about the use of cameras. It’s an interesting topic of discussion and it is a topic that probably isn’t going away any time soon.
In a survey published by the National Association of REALTORS, we see that Arizona law says “A person may record oral conversations where either the person is a party to the conversation or at least one of the participants has consented to the recording.” So, as long as a seller knows they are recording you, it is legit… However, if video surveillance is being used, a sign must give notice of the use of the cameras. PLEASE remember that I am not a lawyer and I am NOT attempting to give legal advise. This is just an interesting topic and I’m sharing some of what I have read and experienced. Check out this video from a NAR attorney where he talks about video and audio surveillance. It’s quite interesting.
Loose lips sink ships:
So, if we are out looking at homes and I suggest that we not have a lot of conversations while inside, or if I suggest that you don’t show a lot of emotion, please don’t take it personally. There’s a time and place for many conversations. Sometimes we just need to be aware of the situation.
As always, just smile pretty. It makes them wonder what you are up to… 🙂
Jay Thompson says
While it does seem a little creepy, simple fact is, it’s the homeowners home, and I think they should be able to monitor complete strangers walking around inside their own home.
If I still actively sold, I’d caution and inform my buyers that they should expect they will be on video/audio surveillance.
And the broker in me would probably have them sign something upfront, acknowledging they are aware of this.
Nick Bastian says
Agreed. It is interesting to see how different people react when we bring it up.
Riley Bishop says
As long as Arizona remains a single consent state, this practice will be continued by savvy home sellers. After all, negotiations are all about edge!