Over the years, we’ve noticed more electronics & home automation as we tour homes. Ranging from cams for protection and virtual assistants like Alexa, even open laptops with cams. Is anyone watching or listening?
During our appointments with sellers, we discuss the language in the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement. It states “If there is a video/audio/surveillance device(s) on the Property, Seller is advised: (i) that no audio surveillance device may be turned on during any showings, open houses, investigations, examinations or inspections of the property; and (ii) that the placement of any video surveillance device should not violate a visitor’s reasonable expectation of privacy (meaning they should NOT put a camera in the bathroom! – but visitors shouldn’t be using the bathrooms in homes they are touring, – that’s another post for another day!!!)
Before we begin touring homes, we advise our buyers to use caution and be aware of possible surveillance. “Buyer is advised to be mindful of the fact there could be video/audio/surveillance devices located on any property examined by the Buyer and that Buyer or Buyer’s representatives may be under surveillance during any such examination. Federal and State laws prohibit the interception of an oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical, or other device, whether or not recorded, without the consent of a party to that communication. However, video surveillance without consent is NOT illegal.” So don’t walk in and jump up and down with excitement because you’ve finally found the perfect home, remember the sellers may be watching and your actions could harm your ability to negotiate. We hope they aren’t watching or listening, but we never know.