Philadelphia Real Estate Helpful News and Views : Video Recording Buyers When Showing Houses Part 1

Video Recording Buyers When Showing Houses Part 1

helpfulhannahs.com

 

 Every state has different laws when it comes to laws about video surveillance and audio recording .With  new modern technology systems of nanny cams ,baby monitors ,security systems , and the like we are now hearing all kinds of stories  that we have never heard before . Sellers spying on buyers and  agents and the listing agents also  aware of the situation .

 

Real estate licensees and their clients should  be aware of the nuances of video and audio surveillance laws to protect themselves from potential invasions of privacy,  in violations of state and federal video and audio surveillance laws. When  being recording while viewing homes

 

 

In Pennsylvania  you can not have video in place anywhere person are undressing such as a bathroom  . This may cause a problem if a person is walking out of a bathroom . Let us say a lady walks out of a bathroom . She looks no one is in view and perhaps pulls up their dress and fixes her under garments .She  was not aware she was on camera .

 

Is this a violation of  her  privacy ? 

Could this cause a legal problem ?

 

Do you know what the laws are in your state ?

Even if it is not illegal is it ethical ?

 

 

 

hannah williams

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Comment balloon 31 commentsHannah Williams • September 20 2018 06:56PM

Comments

Hannah,

These are excellent points.  Our agents in town, tell their clients to assume there is video or nanny cams in operation.  In some states, such as New York, Rhode Island, and California, video cameras are not allowed anywhere where an individual has a reasonable expectation of complete privacy. These locations include but are not limited to:

  • Changing rooms
  • Hotel rooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Any place where a person may get undressed.  A
Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 1 month ago

Great points Alexandra There takes a certain type of person to want to video people in their home . Personally I think it is an invasion of privacy if the people are not aware they are being videoed

Thank you for your very professional input

Hannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 1 month ago

Unfortunately Hannah Williams , there are probably many sellers that are looking for "inside" (no pun intended) information from potential buyers. Each agent must remind their clients to stay an even keel with no chatter, through out the showing.

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 1 month ago

Hannah I have been telling buyers for the past 24+ years before all this technology to "keep a poker face" and lets talk outside once we left the house... needless to say this post highlights other issues, now quite frankly when I adjust my underwear I could care less if the seller is watching me... on a serious note this is becoming a bigger problem over the years...Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) about 1 month ago

Morning Hannah. 

As far as Arkansas the law reads: Security monitoring operated by or at the direction of an occupant of a residence; is legal from what I've read

That can open up a can of worms, depending.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 1 month ago

I don't have an answer for this, Hannah.  I would need to speak to an attorney who knows about this.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 1 month ago

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® Many sellers are however also using sound which is opening another can of worms

Endre Barath, Jr.  The buyer however may feel differently  .

James Dray  Just be aware of the laws in your state

Gabe Sanders  This is an interesting topic and from what I am reading laws may be changing .  Just keep yourself informed

Thank you for your professional opinions

Hannah

 

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 1 month ago

Hi Hannah,
I don't know the answer to this in my state.  If I were still an active agent, I would be sure to know.  Otherwise, I just assume there are cameras everywhere, except in areas where one has a reasonable expectation of complete privacy, as Alexandra put it. 

Posted by Carol Williams, "Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services" (U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business.) about 1 month ago

Agents as well as sellers Carol Williams  should be careful . One day they may ruffle someones feathers .  Knowing what your own States rules  is imperative

Thank you for your professional input

Hannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 1 month ago

Hi Hannah

We are hearing more and more about this topic, and seeing more audio and video recording in homes, or at least concerns about it. Our listing contract specifically mentions that sellers should disclose the presence of any recording equipment. I have been in several homes where cameras were obvious. I always just assume audio and/or video recording could be happening.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 month ago

Hi Hannah- with more and more homeowners getting video cameras in their homes this is a topic that needs to be discussed. And yes, every agent needs to know the law as it exists in their state. I always take the assumptive approach that all home have cameras. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 1 month ago

This is a change we have to think about. It is better to always think we may be videoed or recorded.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 1 month ago

In Washington State, it is a two party consent. You have to let the other party know. Does everyone comply? Doubt it - therefore expect that you might be under surveillance. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 1 month ago

Hello Jeff - My next post will be about audio and the legality of recording conversations . Not all state laws are the same on this topic

Hi Kathy  I was reading an article by local attorney's on the subject of audio recordings and I think some agents may be surprised

Debbie Reynolds  The question is are we violating laws by recording private conversations -- it is almost like wire tapping --is it ethical

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD We must consider are we over stepping our Ethical duties . What does your Board of Realtors think ? There are many things to consider .

Thanks for your professional input

Hannah

 

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) about 1 month ago

Hi Hannah! Thanks for an enlightening topic.  I remind my buyers that there may be cameras and not to discuss price inside the home but even more so, I never thought about bathrooms or straightening clothes.etc. 

Good blog post. Thanks for the reminders!

Posted by Jill Watts, A Luxury Experience at Every Price Point! (Realty Pro, Inc.) 24 days ago

Good morning Hannah Williams,

Know your own states policy is imperative as a Realtor® in today's world. I always assume there are cameras everywhere, except in areas where one has a reasonable expectation of complete privacy.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) 23 days ago

This is a great topic Hannah Williams .  I need to check into what our state laws are.  Several years ago our Broker told us to watch what we say when viewing a house because someone could be listening, sure enough a complaint was filed on an agent for something they said.  I usually tell buyers not to discuss anything inside the house, or even outside because the cameras are there as well.

Posted by Brenda J. Andrew, Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX (ULTIMA REAL ESTATE) 23 days ago

Hannah Williams You say in one of your comments that you believe that video and audio recording of prospective buyers and their agents viewing a home is an "invasion of privacy."

Let's put things in perspective before we come to support your opinion.

First - The buyers and agents are touring someone else's home, which is supposed to be the safest, most secure place for they and their family.

In a world where children are raped and snatched from their own bedrooms and home invasions are more and more common, it seems to me to be perfectly reasonable for homeowners to want to take the precaution of having video and audio surveillance in their home.

After all, buyers and agents are all strangers to the homeowner; their motives may not be apparent, as can be attested to by the growing number of murdered agents by those posing as buyers.

Professional real estate agents should always advise their buyers to assume they are under video and audio surveillance.

As for invasion of privacy, I'm sure most homeowners feel it's their privacy being invaded by strangers in their home.

Posted by Ken Jones, Helping Agents Build a Secure Financial Future (Ken Jones Real Estate Advisor) 23 days ago

Very good post, and very pertinent with all the tech available today! In North Carolina video is allowed, but audio is not! Video is not allowed in bathrooms. That said,I always tell my clients to assume they are being recorded and to be very careful with their comments!

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) 23 days ago

It's an interesting question Hannah. I am now assuming that all properties have some type of surveillance or security system, even if you can't see it. I advise all my clients as such - then they can make their own decisions. The more expensive the property is, the more likely we are been watched and recorded.

As far as legislating this - Listings are on private property. Buyers and agents are guests. Do you really want our gvt to legislate this?

Posted by Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR, Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations (AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group) 23 days ago

Jill Watts  It is a touchy situation indeed buyers and agents do and should have have some type of privacy

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR  I would not like to think I was on camera and being spied on as I was leaving a bathroom while showing a house .  Times sure have changed

Brenda J. Andrew  All state laws are different . Is it legal to spy on your guests that are viewing your house for sale and the agents you have been  invited . Even more important is it ethical

Thank you for you professional input

Hannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 23 days ago

Ken Jones  I am asking not telling .  Do you think it is an invasion of privacy?  When you are showing a house should you be video taped . You were invited to bring buyers in to sell the home . Do you feel as a licensed Real Estate agent you cannot be trusted ?   I asked your opinion .I also asked what the laws were in your state . 

Sorry if you misunderstood

Hannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 23 days ago

Tom Bailey Good to know what the laws are  in your state . In Pennsylvania audio is not allowed either .  I recently ran across a seller who found it humorous to record and video the buyers that came through their home . I had to tell them it was against the law to record conversations . They said they erased it no one would know .

Thank you for your  professional input

Hannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 23 days ago

Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR  i am not suggesting legislation . I am just asking if you know the present laws in your state .  Why should we as licensed agents not feel comfortable with our clients to speak in the house . We were invited in by the seller  The other question that comes to mind is : Is it Ethical?  

Thank you for your professional opinion

Hannah 

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 23 days ago

I'm just thinking out loud Hannah Williams . It's something we have to deal with nowadays.... I just assume that owners can do what they want in their private properties, listed or not.

Posted by Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR, Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations (AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group) 23 days ago

Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR  There are laws in states . In my state you cannot record audio but can do visual . There are laws  and you should be aware

I suggest to me sellers they turn off there cameras .Most do not have a problem doing so when their prorety is being shown .

Thank you for your professional input

Hannah

 

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 23 days ago

In NH you can record video but can not record voice unless it is posted. 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 23 days ago

Hi Hannah Williams. This is such a 'grey area' that there is no simple answer. I advise all clients that it is possible and comments should be held until were away from a property. Most are surprised, but seem to 'get it'.

Thanks for sharing.
Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) 23 days ago

Scott Godzyk  The same is true in Pennsylvania

Bruce Kunz It seems many are assuming they are on candid camera . Maybe we should tell our buyers to say funny things . Personally audio should not be recorded in my state .  I have no fear when I show a house except when leaving a bathroom . Hopefully the camera is not rolling inside this room . 

Thank you both for your input

Hannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 22 days ago

Good Morning Hannah Williams 

I have no issue with homeowners using video surveillance equipment for their property. But bathrooms are off limits. The real issue surrounds audio recording. In MA, to record audio all parties must consent to it. Thus it is illegal to record audio from surveillance equipment.

Good post.

Posted by Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor® (Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA) 21 days ago

Doug Dawes I agree yet many homeowner are recording audio .  Personally I do not see the need to record buyers and agents that you have invited into your home . I can see at an Open House when strangers are walking about and have not been qualified . ... This is a subject that may not only land us in court but may touch on Ethics one day

Thank you for your professional opinion it is always welcome here

Hannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 21 days ago

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