Updated: Nov 22, 2019
The amount of ever-evolving security technology in homes has seen a big increase in recent years. With products like Amazon's Ring doorbell and Alexa digital assistant, homes have gone high-tech to boost security from a simple app or click. But these additions render questions of legality, ethics and privacy when it comes to listings with video surveillance. Is it beneficial or detrimental to a home's activity on the market?
Many sellers find these tools to be a helpful way of keeping tabs on who is looking at their home, as well as what is being said about it. Instances of listening in on negative conversations between potential buyers and their agents may weigh unfavorably for these buyers should they eventually make an offer on that seller's home. When price or negotiations are discussed within the walls, sellers now have something of an upper hand if they listen in on the buyer's strategy.
So what are the laws on covert observation while buyers view a home that's for sale? Some multiple listing services have posted forums about how and when to disclose such technology. Finley Maxson, senior counsel at the National Association of Realtors, said, "...video recording laws in general have to test whether the individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are being recorded, but some states do require the posting of notices."
A greater number of real estate agents are beginning to look out for surveillance technology when showing listings. Following this, they feel it is better to wait until leaving the home with their clients to have a "curbside" conversation.
We feel it's particularly important to never discuss price or negotiation tactics while inside a listing that we're showing to our buyers. The ubiquity of security devices in so many homes means curbing conversations-- positive or otherwise-- while scoping out your next home.
Please don't hesitate to discuss this with me prior to listing your home for sale.
*** This post is an excerpt from an Inman article by Jim Dalrymple