Philadelphia Real Estate Helpful News and Views : The Surveillance Seller: The Latest Concern for RE Buyers and Agents

The Surveillance Seller: The Latest Concern for RE Buyers and Agents

Perhaps it is wise to inform buyers not to discuss how they feel about the house while they are viewing the inside of the home with you. Let you do the talking. Give yes and no answers say this nice or we do or don't like this or that. Wait until they get in the car to discuss if they like the house as nowadays the seller may have surveillance devices installed  

Imagine that you are looking for a new home with your spouse and children, and while at a showing, the agent gets a strange call. It’s her listing agent who informs her that the sellers are watching all of you on a camera, and they want to make sure your children are careful around the china cabinet…

What? This happens? It most certainly does, and it’s definitely freaky. Plus, it raises some legal and ethical questions, too. This has become more of an issue than ever before with real estate, and agents are really dealing with something they have never had to worry about before.

In general, there are laws out there about recording people without their knowledge, but these laws vary by state, and what is covered in one place might not be covered in another. On top of that, most real estate agents aren’t aware of what is legal and what is not. Some states, for example, only require that one person knows that the surveillance is happening, but in other states, both parties must be aware. Other states require that a notice is posted if recording is happening.

The majority of agents believe that they have an obligation to tell their clients if they know that there is recording equipment in a home, but at the same time, they might not know either. This can also, of course, cause some legal issues during a negotiation, as potential buyers might be discussing strategy during the showing, while a seller could be listening in, giving them the upper hand. Some agents have even told their clients that they shouldn’t talk about what they are thinking about a house until they are outside and away from any potential recording equipment.

On the other hand, some sellers believe that they have an absolute right to record in their own homes, and they very well may have that right. Again, in general, things are quite cloudy here, and they are only set to get cloudier as time goes on.

At this point, it’s not even just traditional surveillance cameras that homeowners are using. They also are using smart-home technology to keep an eye on their homes including video game consoles, smart door bells, and even devices like Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices. Of course, there are also a number of privacy concern associated with these things, too. As these devices get cheaper than ever before, more and more homeowners are jumping on the surveillance bandwagon. So, if you are a in the market to buy or sell a home, make sure you talk to your realtor about this, especially if you are a seller who has these devices in the home.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

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Comment balloon 13 commentsHannah Williams • May 14 2019 06:16PM

Comments

Hi Hannah Williams - it would be great to Operation under the assumption that everyone is listening 

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 5 months ago

Good afternoon Hannah. This was even true when I was actively listing and selling.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 5 months ago

Hannah,
The walls have ears. During the war that was what were told in France, now it is in the home . stay quiet. Nice re blog. A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) 5 months ago

I have been telling my buyers for the past 25 years to have a poker face and lets talk after we saw the home, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) 5 months ago

Hannah, this is a great choice to re-blog. I always assume someone is listening at the very least and often I think watching too. Conversations are definitely best saved for the car or another location. 

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) 5 months ago

Thank you very much, Hannah, for sharing this excellent reblog selection.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 5 months ago

Nice reblog Hannah Williams - I have left a comment already. But reacting to Endre Barath, Jr.'s comment of keeping a poker face. I also remind my clients to watch the word "WOW"! 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 5 months ago

Not only listening Hannah, but I think watching too. We try to be neutral when we are in someone's residence.

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) 5 months ago

This is another reason why I love when buyers ride with me - we can chat about the houses then (when we get into the car) and not until then!

I tell buyers to act like you're going through an Open House - zip it!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 5 months ago

Hannah, for a few years now, I have been having recording discussions with both buyers and sellers. Buyers so they don't give up their negotiating, and sellers so they understand they have to tell a buyer if they are being recorded.

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) 5 months ago

Bound to be some challenges on both sides of this issue...!

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) 5 months ago

Hannah Williams - Surveillance Cameras has been an issue in TX for several years now. I wrote about it years ago but apparently, it wasn't as big then to many others in different states as it is today. Now it's everywhere and the problem continues to grow.

I am very familiar with Robert Siciliano and appreciate that he is an advocate for Real Estate Agents.

 

 

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) 5 months ago

I do have some buyers that are clowns- That if they know they are being videotaped will put on an act to get the seller going 

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 5 months ago

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