Buyer Advice: Keep Your Thoughts to Yourself

Real Estate Agent with Associate Broker, Momentum Realty


This past year was a big one for technology. It seems like everyone has the latest gadgets, from wireless doorbells, to talking towers and, yes, home camera and security systems. 
In the past, if you went into a listed property, you and your Realtor could walk around and freely Amazon Echodiscuss the merits of the property. With the widespread use of technology, you must now expect that you are being recorded, in some capacity. A paragraph has been added to our local listing form (Northern Virginia) that asks a seller to reveal whether or not they are recording activity in their home. There is also drop down on our on-line listing entry, under Security, that would allow us to indicate if there is 'Security Surveillance.' There is nothing, however, that mandates this disclosure. As a Buyer's Agent, I check for this information, but I can only know what has been disclosed.
A Best Practice, for both Realtors and Purchasers, is to assume that you are being recorded and behave accordingly.
Most Buyer's Agents will advise their buyers to 'keep their cards close' in a negotiation. Obviously, if the seller has access to your running commentary as you viewed their house, that advice means nothing. Of course, even if you put in a fair offer, your comments made during the showing could have irritated the seller, leading to a potentially hostile negotiation. Remember, selling a home is often an emotional sale.  Hearing that you don't LOVE their home, or that you plan to gut it, may not leave a seller feeling warmly toward your offer. 
It is a Brave New World out there Buyers! Remember that your words are not necessarily private if spoken within a listed property. Behave accordingly and you stand the best chance of landing your next home!



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 Momentum Realty

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Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

This is great.  I really had not considered this until the other day I read about a 6 year old that accidentally ordered some expensive items on Amazon via Alexa.  I will definitely keep this in mind and make good use of this information.

Jan 04, 2017 06:35 AM #29
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH TEAM REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Brokerage, Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987

Excellent reminder. Congratulations on the feature!

Jan 04, 2017 06:50 AM #30
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Holly. This is brilliant and very important. I have also found it pays not to be judgemental as a buyers agent. You can lose a buyer quickly by voicing your opinion.

Jan 04, 2017 06:50 AM #31
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Like speeding, nothing to worry about if you are not. Professional agents, mum's the word buyers with poker faces. Got it.

Jan 04, 2017 07:19 AM #32
Mike Bjork
American Pacific Mortgage - Redondo Beach, CA

Great post, Holly!  Definitely another thing for Buyers and Agents to consider when they visit a listing.  Best to play it safe!  Thanks for bringing up this topic.

Jan 04, 2017 08:39 AM #33
Charlie Harrison
The Bluefield Group - Greenville, SC
Are you ready to buy or sell today?

Great post! You must always be on guard when in a house with clients, especially more so now with technology.

Jan 04, 2017 08:44 AM #34
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I had a seller use a recording device last year - no sound though.  The eventual buyers were very upset about it - but he really only had it set up for security.  

Jan 04, 2017 10:11 AM #35
Brivity Platform
Brivity - Bellingham, WA
Manage. Market. Communicate. Convert. Get leads

The internet of things is real and is definitely something we should keep track of in the future. Great post!

Jan 04, 2017 10:22 AM #36
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Holly, scary but it could happen. It's a conversation buyer's agents should have with their buyers.

Jan 04, 2017 10:32 AM #37
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Recording devices are as small as the head of a nail now a days...

Jan 04, 2017 02:50 PM #38
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
Realtor, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

Great reminder, and now with all these Amazon and Google things, who knows if they are picking this up!  

Jan 04, 2017 02:58 PM #39
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

My buyer clients are advised to say nothing while in the home ... and not anything outside the home.  We wait until we are safely back in my car before discussing.  

Jan 04, 2017 03:14 PM #40
Theresa Akin

Showed a property the other day. The buyer and I texted while inside. Made for good notes for that particular property and included some photos.  To think I fought txting in the beginning: my best notepad.

Jan 04, 2017 03:52 PM #41
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

I was thinking the same thing as I watched all those commercials for Echo and Alexa etc.  It's a bit creepy and this is a good reminder to be aware: conversations may be recorded!

Jan 04, 2017 04:56 PM #42
Joni Bailey
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

You are absolutely right! Buyers and their agents need to ZIP it until you are away from the property.

Jan 04, 2017 06:02 PM #43
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

You are correct. We have to assume we are being recorded while in homes.

Jan 05, 2017 03:44 AM #44
Anne Corbin
Fritz Realty LLC - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

Great Reminder! Thanks for the post and I'll we more aware in 2017.

Jan 05, 2017 10:44 AM #45
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN

I've been tempted the bring duct tape for the buyers.  Sometimes they spew an opinion that is off the wall.  Especially people who think that they know what they are looking at, and they don't.  

Jan 05, 2017 08:39 PM #46
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Let alone Siri, Cortana, and Goggle Ok & Home... Great post Holly Weatherwax !!

Jan 07, 2017 12:07 PM #47
Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Whether good or bad comments, agents and clients need to keep their mouths shut during showings and talk afterwards in private.

Jan 08, 2017 06:57 PM #48
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