Would that be a little creepy or do you think it is perfectly normal? Many people have different opinions about this topic. One thing is for sure, it is becoming a VERY common occurrance.
Not long ago, it would be pretty uncommon for a seller to record your every move or your seemingly private conversations while you are looking at their home with your real estate agent. 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 have become more affordable, common and a larger part of our every day lives.
In fact, when we go into homes with cameras, I often remind people that there’s a very good chance the home owner is watching and /or listening, to our conversations.
Do you think it is ok for home sellers to watch and / or record you when you are looking at their home? Do you almost expect it or does it make you feel uneasy?
Many people are not very surprised but some think it is a little intimidating.
Just a couple of years ago, things were much different. Today, so many home owners have cameras in their home that buyers almost expect to be recorded while they are out looking at homes for sale.
I double dog dare you to click the video below and 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. – Market Watch. Andrea Riquier
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 properties 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 their family, could it effect how we 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 or your style? Could this be something you’d rather not hear?
Sellers Watching – Is It 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. However, 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 you legal advice. 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.
Keep Thoughts To Yourself?
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. We’ll certainly be able to discuss the home, in great detail, once we feel like no one else is watching or listening.
Loose Lips Sink Ships:
In addition to cameras, it is common in some markets in our valley for the listing agent to be present during showings. They may act all icky sweet, but don’t let them trick you in to answering any questions that may tip your hand!
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 people (home sellers) wonder what you are up to…