A survey of home sellers by Lending Tree suggests that 30% of all home sellers secretly spied on homebuyers in their homes during a showing!!
The use of technology has become so cheap and easy to use, a seller can easily tap into a homebuyer’s showings through the use of their home's hidden security cameras and watch your every movement and hang on every word. In many ways, technology has changed how we buy and sell homes.
In today’s wired world, the best policy for homebuyers is to assume that they are being secretly monitored during home showings.
Laws vary from state to state. But in general, it is ok to record or use an electronic video device to watch or record people..... without audio.
Audio is where it gets sticky, it is generally illegal to use an electronic device to eavesdrop on a conversation or record a conversation without at least one party's consent.
Before you decide to use video and audie surveillance for showing please research laws in your state. s a pretty serious crime and can be a felony offense.
But just because a seller is not supposed to listen in or record without you or your agent's consent, doesn’t mean they aren’t. Either the lack of knowing the legality of secretly spying on their buyers or not caring will have sellers spying on you while you are in their house
And let's reiterate the Lending Tree Survey on the use of surveillance to spy on home buyers.
You are being spied on by home sellers in 1 out of 3 homes you decide to view in person!!
With every showing, there is the potential you are being secretly recorded and the seller will log in later to view your actions and hear what you have to say. Or, they are tapping in live during your showings to watch your every move.
To be honest this year alone I have had three sellers asking if it was alright to spy on homebuyers. One seller was willing to purchase the surveillance systen while the other two already had cameras in place. There are several reasons why a seller wants to monitor you in their home:
There is a good chance you are going to be snooped upon during a showing. And there is also a good chance that you are not going to be asked to give consent (even though a seller should).
As a good rule of thumb, act like the seller is home or you are being listened to.
Before stepping onto a property, put your poker face and curb your enthusiasm about the home for sale.
Don’t make any comments about your desire for the home that may tip off the seller you will cave during negotiations.
Secondly, be very careful not to insult the seller's taste, housekeeping, etc…. Sellers can get hurt feelings which can negatively affect your ability to negotiate.
Take the conversation about the home with your agent to the street curb where you are not being listened to.
While it may be off-putting to think you are being monitored, technology makes it easy for sellers to use surveillance on you and it is quite possible you are secretly being listened to and watched.
But it is just a fact of life, sellers spying on buyers during showings and open houses are just going to become more and more commonplace.
Just assume during every showing you are being spied on and act accordingly.