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Modern Technology to BEWARE of!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Realty Professionals

Yes it is true that modern technology helps us in many ways throughout a real estate transaction.  It can speed up communication throughout negotiations agent to agent as well as improve communication with sellers. It is ideal when it comes to marketing a home through social media or internet exposure, but how can it hurt us??

Recently I took a listing with clients that had their computer in the kitchen. This is not uncommon for many households to have a computer that is located in a main area of the home. Ideal for supervising kids while online or looking up a favorite recipe while prepping in the kitchen. That was not the problems at all - the problem started when a colleague complained to me when they saw that little green light on the mac flash to indicate the computer was indeed recording.

Being a tech savvy real estate agent I know very well what that means - these lights don't just pop on by themselves no it is definitely intentional. SO what to do ? Confront the sellers and potentially have a very awkward conversation when I myself have not witnessed the event? I think not so I decided I would let this play out.

I had a sign call with an interested party that wanted to see the home so I decided to show the home myself to see just how these "sellers prepped for showings" and indeed that little green light was glowing to indicate recording and observing was taking place.  We had a great showing with me guiding the prospective clients through the house and staying off topic of conversations that sellers should not be privy to such as motivation of buyers etc. I am sure my sellers were very impressed on how I showcased their home through this showing :-)

Then next came an open house, only it was not me to do it rather another agent in my office. So when the open house started I texted the agent and asked her if she could see that green light on - and yes it was once again. She was very uncomfortable with them monitoring so she decided to unplug the computer to turn it off. She went over pretended to trip on the computer and release the plug from the wall. Within seconds the seller called me... asking if he could go to the house during the open house. I said sure I will let the agent know oyu are coming. She powered the computer back on with no green light and he didn't go to the open house as he said he would.

After the open house ended I texted the client and told him that I had been getting complaints about the "green light" issue. Their excuse was lame that they use this program to check on their dog when away - how convenient.

In my province of Alberta it is illegal to video record or have surveillance of a home without a clear and concise sign posted upon entry of the home. It doesn't matter that it is their own home - it is still illegal and sellers could be prosecuted under provincial laws.


Posted by


Crystal Tost

RE/MAX Realty Professionals

403-264-SOLD (7653)



Comments (5)

Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Crystal, you meet ALL types in this business. It sounds like either the sellers think they should be able to monitor how professional you are, or they are just plain desperate to sell the home and want to make sure you are on top of your game all the time while showing, or holding an open house. Either way, they need to back off and let you do your job. You should get a medal for putting up with this!

Aug 29, 2013 03:45 AM
Crystal Tost
RE/MAX Realty Professionals - Calgary, AB
Real Estate Made Easy

This house has since been sold and closed for those of you wondering.

Aug 29, 2013 04:06 AM
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

You answered the question that I has as I read your post at the end: "Is that even legal?" I've never had this issue come up, I'd have to check the legality of it if it did.

Sep 04, 2013 03:30 AM
Janis Borgueta
Newburgh, NY
Retired RE Salesperson

I don't know about how legal it is, but I too have seen it in my home town. A small nothing special home that gave all the realtors in a tour a creepy feeling. We were not sure why, and then we went into the basement. Cameras and monitors that would have worked for an entire department store. Not sure why they had it, but none of the realtors were happy about it. Not sure if the home ever sold either. 

Sep 04, 2013 08:56 PM
Crystal Tost
RE/MAX Realty Professionals - Calgary, AB
Real Estate Made Easy

Chances are that if you feel your being "watched" i think your intuition is correct and you liekly are! 

Dec 16, 2013 03:46 AM