Seller Surveillance Systems ~ Educate Your Clients

Managing Real Estate Broker with Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury TREC #547752

Seller Surveillance Systems ~ Educate Your Clients

Security Camera

In this day and age of video surveillance systems, this is a game-changer in real estate. Potential buyers must be aware of the possibility of being video recorded while in a seller's home. But....did you know that here in Texas, audio recording of which the person recording is NOT a party to the conversation is a FELONY?


Under the Texas Penal Code "it is prohibited to audio record without the consent of at least one individual who is part of the conversation."


Recently, an agent called me (broker) to complain about one of my agents showing one of her listings. She was upset with some of the things being said while showing. I asked her how she knew of this conversation and she said that her clients audio recorded the conversation during the showing. Rut roh!


Not only did she admit this, but when pulling up the listing, she was not only the listing agent but also the owner. (Would have been nice of her to disclose this when she called me.) Alas, and bottom line - what she did was against the law in our state. You may not audio record with the consent of one of the party members of the conversation.


This brings to light the fact that we should be having these conversations with our agents, our sellers and our buyers. 


1.  Seller's should be educated about the law in their state regarding audio/video recordings.

2.  Buyer's should be educated that they could be recorded while in a home. Therefore, sensitive           

     comments such as negotiation strategies, etc. should wait until you are out of the home.

3.  Agent's should also be aware of being audio/video recorded while in homes.


The penalty here in Texas for unauthorized audio recordings is $10,000 for EACH occurrence! Yowzer! That would not be good for any potential Seller to have to pay!


Just another excellent tip for all of us in real estate to be aware of. All eyes and ears are upon us for sure! Happy selling!


This article is a great resource from our Texas Association of Realtors.

Posted by

     Magnolia Realty Granbury    

"Have you fully lived today?"

   Paula L. McDonald ~ REALTOR®

       Managing Broker ~ Granbury, Texas 

 936-203-0279 Direct

Selling Hood County and surrounding areas! 



 John Maxwell

Farm & Ranch


          ABR                 Institute for Luxury Marketing                Institute for Luxury Home Marketing



Copyright 2017 Paula McDonald


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Paula.

Arkansas has about the same laws however, if the owner knew it was recorded they are protected if they were on site.  If not (as in this scenario) they maybe in trouble

Mar 13, 2018 02:50 AM #20
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

With the advent and affordability of recording devices,  agents must be aware their right to privacy openly disussing property with their buyers is violated!!!

Mar 13, 2018 04:04 AM #21
Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service

In this day and age, one must be aware of potentially being recorded. Thanks for the heads up, never crossed my mind but from now on, I will advise my clients to keep it zipped while looking at properties. Yikes!

Mar 13, 2018 04:38 AM #22
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Our MLS added a disclosure on all of our listings warning people the property could be under surveillance.  I always tell buyers not to discuss the property while we are inside the home just to be on the safe side

Mar 13, 2018 05:35 AM #23
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

We are right to assume that in today's world surveillance systems can be most anywhere.  And, it is an excellent suggestion that we remind or advise our clients.

Mar 13, 2018 06:15 AM #24
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Winter Haven, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

I always just assume someone is watching and listening. Even if its just a smart speaker. 

Mar 13, 2018 07:00 AM #25
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I assume I am always on camera... still, I sometimes let what I think surface.  I do warn customers to zip it while in a showing!

Mar 13, 2018 07:33 AM #26
Jim Smith
The Property Management Company - Round Rock, TX

The Texas state legislature has made feeble attempts at addressing this issue; however, it has not made it out of sub-committee. (Texas legislature meets for 140 days every odd year).  Our laws throughout the land have not properly addressed the technological advancements that continue to occur.  Essentially, private homes should be an "exception" to the audio laws.  Cameras have evolved to include crisp audio and video, which are designed to both discourage illicit activity within one's private home, as well as provide evidence should something occur.  Best practice:  until the laws are modified to address private residences, we should have the Owners place a sign at each exterior entry clearly stating that the premises is under video AND audio surveillance.

Mar 13, 2018 07:40 AM #27
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Paula

Congratulations on the feature - this is becoming a bigger and bigger issue all the time. Our listing contract specifically states that sellers are advised to post a notice about security devices. I think it's wise to always assume recording might be in place, with or without notice, when showing homes.


Mar 13, 2018 07:49 AM #28
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Paula. This is very interesting and surprising to me too. I always told clients to be careful what they said while in a home we were viewing but this is something else.

Mar 13, 2018 07:54 AM #29
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Showing a home last weekend many of the rooms had cameras in them. We do alert our customers but pointed them out as we went. Not sure what the rules are in our state, but think there should be some disclaimer in the listing if the seller is going to be recording.

Mar 13, 2018 11:29 AM #30
Lynne Ruffin
Century 21 Nachman Realty - Norfolk, VA
Century 21. The Gold Standard.

It seems very intrusive, especially when showing a vacant rental.  It is best to assume you are being recorded from the time you enter the street until the time you leave.  The neighbors have cameras too.  Years ago I ran into one seller that knew when I came on the street.  He showed me his setup.  He was recording the exterior activity for the whole cul-de-sac.

Mar 13, 2018 12:30 PM #31
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

Paula, thank you for the reminder... It is also good to refrain from making overly negative remarks or being too enthusiastic about a property while visiting. Now more than ever, walls have eyes and ears!


Mar 13, 2018 05:17 PM #32
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

The law was challenged in a Georgia court in 2012 rutter vs. rutter and if the camera is "for security purposes" it's all fair in love and war and they can record away.  

Our buyers need to know this stuff form even says always behave as IF you are being recorded.

Mar 13, 2018 05:59 PM #33
Dionelle(Don) Davis
DDLRG International Realty - Houston, TX
Don Davis Luxe Realty Group-DDLRG International

Great information!  Thanks for sharing!

Mar 14, 2018 09:35 AM #34
Christine Kankowski North SD and Temecula
House Match Inc - Poway, CA
Excellent Sales and Property Management

Yikes.  I'll have to check our state law.


Mar 14, 2018 12:45 PM #35
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

This is extremely important information. Every buyer, seller, and agent needs to read this. Thank you for sharing. 

Mar 14, 2018 02:16 PM #36
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

This is a very important post. Thanks for sharing.

Here in Florida audio recording without consent is against the law.

Thanks for reminding us, because not all people follow the law.

Mar 15, 2018 08:49 AM #37
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Wow, this is a relevant topic, Paula. Happy to see it featured. I believe in Washington, there has to be notice of a surveillance system in place to comply with the laws. 

Mar 17, 2018 06:23 AM #38
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

We also have such a law & no one pays attention to it. Really not funny that the seller/listing agent didn't know her stuff.

Mar 17, 2018 12:59 PM #39
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Paula McDonald

Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279
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