CAUTION Homebuyers: Loose Lips Sink Ships

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Concepts Licensed in State of Iowa

In today's tech-forward world, where it's easy & affordable for most anyone to have some type of home security device, it's important to remember that there's probably a good chance you're being recorded by both audio and video when showing a home. (I bought the Arlo Pro 2 system on Amazon for outside my home not too long ago, very affordable, easy to install and has 2-way audio on the cameras.)


"Never allow that agent in my home again!" yelled the woman on the phone.


An angry lady called our Newton RE/MAX office the other day, a REALTOR from another office in town had just shown her home that was one of our office's listings.  She had a Ring doorbell or some similar device, and was listening to the conversation the showing agent was having with her clients as they were in range of the front door. Apparently the agent from the other office was making derogatory comments about the home, all while the home owner was listening live on camera.  The selling homeowner was livid.


There's probably a whole discussion on whether she should have been listening ... whether it's ethical ... if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, etc. But the fact is it's happening all the time now and as Realtors we need to be aware of it, and make our clients aware of it when showing homes.


The agent may have thought she was "safe" talking outside the home, but because of today's affordable far-reaching home monitoring devices, ended up getting overheard and making the homeowner angry to the point she never wanted that agent in her home again. No matter if her clients had liked the house or not, the seller of that property was not going to deal with that particular showing agent under any circumstance. Period!


Imagine that agent's reputation around town to everyone that homeowner talks to!


An important lesson here is to make sure we talk about confidential things far enough away from the property to avoid putting ourselves or clients in this awkward position in today's tech-forward world.  As my mom used to say, "If you don't have anything nice to say then keep it to yourself."


Understandably, at times it's easy to get caught up in the moment and talk about confidential things while inside the seller's home. But imagine if sellers had secretly been listening to some of the conversations you and buyers may have had in the past while looking at properties. OMG. Discussing low-ball offers? Credit issues? How much you love ... or hate certain things in the home? (especially their decorating style) All which could potentially be insulting to the home seller and ruin any chances of a deal, or ruin your negotiating postion if you're talking numbers while in the home.


Imagine finding the perfect home, only to lose it because of blabbing within range of a home monitoring device.  It's important to show restraint. When showing a home I remind my clients to keep our comments to a minimum while looking at the home, and if they have something important to discuss we'll do that once we're back at our cars or out of range. At that point we can talk quietly about our strategy for that property moving forward.


How do you feel? Have you had anything like this happen to you while looking at homes and being recorded?


Feel free to browse my website to discover more ways I can help homebuyers and homesellers in the Newton and Jasper County Iowa area.


Scott Neasham, REALTOR

RE/MAX Concepts

120 N 2nd Ave W

Newton, Iowa  50208




 A little about my blog:

To me, my REALTOR BLOG is a gathering of my thoughts & notes, I’m always scribbling things down and bookmarking websites. This is me trying to pull those random ideas together from lots of sources and hopefully arranging them in a somewhat coherent way. 


My blog is intended primarily for my clients in the Newton & Jasper County, Iowa area.  I’m hoping it’s an effective way to reach them to help educate on real estate matters that I feel may be important for them to know.


This blog is also a great way to help me to pull ideas together which, I hope, will make be a better REALTOR for my clients. 


If you'd like to know more about myself & real estate business, feel free to Browse My Website!




Scott Neasham 

RE/MAX Concepts

Newton, IA



Comments (21)

William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I tell my clients not to  say much and I go around pointing out the good and the issues that need closer examination.

Nowdays you can't say much in the home

Dec 30, 2018 07:00 AM
Scott Neasham
RE/MAX Concepts - Newton, IA
REALTOR & Home Listing Specialist in Newton, IA

I think that's a good reminder to give our clients before showing them homes. Sometimes homebuyers get so caught up in the excitement of looking that they forget someone may be listening ... or watching.

Dec 30, 2018 07:18 AM
Andy Brown-Climer School of Real Estate
The Climer School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
The Best Real Estate School in Florida

Scott, this is a good blog. Remember that blogging needs to keep Google happy. Make sure that you keep up with Google's ever changing rules about content, keyword density, keyword types, and length!

Dec 30, 2018 08:52 AM
Scott Neasham
RE/MAX Concepts - Newton, IA
REALTOR & Home Listing Specialist in Newton, IA

Yes I've got alot to learn in that whole area. I just signed up here on AR a few days ago and this is my first attempt at blogging. I'm not sure about all the Google rules though and how I could have written this different to make them happy- ier. 

Dec 30, 2018 08:55 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Scott- technology is here and I don't think it's going away. We have to make sure that our buyers understand this and remember that fact ourselves. 

Jan 02, 2019 05:34 PM
Scott Neasham
RE/MAX Concepts - Newton, IA
REALTOR & Home Listing Specialist in Newton, IA

I think you're right, technology isn't going anywhere and home security devices are just going to get smaller and do a better job. It's important that we're always aware of our surroundings, especially when we're on other people's property.

Jan 03, 2019 04:44 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                                  Thank you Scott. 

Jan 05, 2019 06:08 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Scott Neasham times have changed and agents must be mindful of cameras and recording devices.... communicate in your vehicle....

Jan 06, 2019 04:23 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Scott. I agree with you and Barbara above. There is time to talk later.

Jan 06, 2019 05:19 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Scott Neasham,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-Ha" moments for the week as I missed it. As an agent you must assume you are being videoed and your conversation is being captured when you are showing property. Don't take chances visit about the house in your car or away from the house you are showing. You never know!

Jan 06, 2019 05:51 AM
Mike Baltierra
Rise Realty - Eastvale, CA
Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Eastvale CA

That is some great advice. I know the Ring can pick up conversation from pretty far away even from the sidewalk. I agree you need to guard your conversations. Just highlight the positive and talk about the home far away. 

Jan 06, 2019 06:03 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce is a wonderful thing...But But...

Jan 06, 2019 06:44 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Scott - things happen. Your post is a textbook example of buyers touring/seeing properties. You are not alone!

Jan 06, 2019 08:37 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I think we've reached a point in time where we all need to assume "anything we say can be used against us."

Jan 06, 2019 09:02 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, we need to remember we could be recorded at all times. I was talking to a past clients wife at their doorway, when a voice floated out of the doorbell - it was the husband chiming into the conversation. It was a little creepy to know he had listened the entire time. Luckily all was well, but it was just a reminder that ears and eyes are everywhere.

Jan 06, 2019 12:26 PM
Scott Neasham

lol great story, thanks for sharing! That would be creepy.

Jan 06, 2019 12:30 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


This is such an important topic to remind our buyers about - ironically I wrote on the same issue just a few weeks ago. Audio and video is so mych more prevalent these days, inside and out, and we should just assume it's going on...either recording or listening in...and warn our buyers accordingly.


Jan 06, 2019 02:15 PM
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

In my buyer's guide, I now have had to add a paragraph that we should keep our discussions about the house far, far away from said house just for this reason.  

Jan 06, 2019 06:53 PM
Scott Neasham
RE/MAX Concepts - Newton, IA
REALTOR & Home Listing Specialist in Newton, IA

That's a great idea to put that in a Home Buyers Guide, it keeps it updated with what's current in real estate. 

Jan 07, 2019 05:43 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post. In fact just last week while I was showing homes, I reminded my buyer that there could be recording devices inside.  He was incredulous, but I convinced him that it's in his best interestse to just nod and comment outside.  Initeresting times!

Jan 08, 2019 07:53 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I've been on both sides of this. I've been the potential buyer afraid someone was listening and I've been the seller actually viewing and/or listening. The important thing is you have to be smart. You have to have those conversations with your clients warning them and have those conversations somewhere far from the property.

Jan 08, 2019 12:39 PM