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Smile, You are on candid camera

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Keller Williams Bellevue 1505

   More and more frequesntly I am seeing cameras in the listings I'm showing.  With the advent of small  and often hidden cameras I am now coaching my buyers to not discuss anything about their negotiating strategy while inside the home.  It is so easy for buyers to get caught up in the excitment of the moment, slip, and say much more than they should. 

I understand a sellers concerns  regarding security of the property but the part I am troubled with is revealing the buyers level of motivation and negotiating strategy. 

A question in my mind is the legality of hidden cameras and a quick internet search provided the following:

"Generally speaking, it's legal in the United States to record surveillance video with a hidden camera in your home without the consent of the person you're recording. ... In most states, it's illegal to record hidden camera video in areas where your subjects have a reasonable expectation of privacy."


Before showing property I discuss this with my buyers and ask them to save the conversation regarding strategy and motivation until we are well outside.

In one instance I called my seller after holding an open house and reported that we had twelve groups at the open.  He replied "don't you mean eleven"  I responded that one buyer came to the door, looked inside and decided it was not for them... apparently we were on camera the entire time.  Fortunately for me I always conduct myself very professionally so nothing to be concerned about but that was the last open at that house. Now I coach my sellers that I think it is bad form to have a hidden camera and request that they do not.

Although I do not think I will ever use one in conjunction with my real estate business, there are small devices that locate hidden cameras available online for less than $20.  

Bottom line is that every buyer I work with is briefed on the importance of maintaining confidentiality by not discussing private matters in camera / microphome range.





Comments (4)

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Brian, we see many homeowner using video equipment during showings, and have a conversation with buyers prior to entering a home nowdays.

Feb 20, 2018 11:17 AM
Paul Antonelli
Antonelli Realty - Saint Cloud, FL
Broker Owner; Antonelli Realty

I've experienced the same. Many sellers are having cameras installed for their own peace of mind and safety during showings.  I mention the same to buyers as well. 

Feb 20, 2018 11:55 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I think it's a good idea for sellers to have cameras so they have a record if something is missing or damaged during a showing. Buyers should always be respectful when viewing someone elses home & camaras hold them accountable.

Feb 20, 2018 01:07 PM
Brian Leavitt
Keller Williams Bellevue - Bellevue, WA

The issue I see is the hidden camera.  If accountability is the issue then put up a sign that they are on camera.

Feb 20, 2018 01:23 PM