The Home Seller is Watching and Listening

Real Estate Agent with Ansley Real Estate/Christie's International 262285

Unless you've been living under a rock or ensconced in a cave for the last decade, you know cameras are everywhere; literally everywhere. As a home buyer, you also know (should anyway) that the home seller is watching and listening to everything you say and do. So pick an analogy..."less said, best said" is a good one.

Requirements to disclose this type of vary. In Georgia, there is NO obligation to disclose recording devices in homes for sale. It's common courtesy and good practice for listing agents to mention this in the private agent remarks. It's wise for buyer agents to assume recording devices are in place. Check for exterior cameras on the approach, doorbell cams at the door and interior cameras throughout the home.

This is a double edged sword. Sellers claim the need for security; however as much as anything they are likely curious to see what buyers are saying. Some buyers find being watched unsettling and there have been situations where clients are put off knowing they are under observation.

Point is, buyers should assume that the home seller is watching and listening. Zip it, talk about the home out in the street and don't say anything in the home. Sellers and listing agents should consider at least making this clear or better, disabling them during visits. Buyer agents, even though not having a fiduciary obligation, should warn clients. Remember, as the general counsel for the GA Association of Realtors explains, all of this is perfectly legal in Georgia.

Comments (7)

Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a very good reminder to share with prospective home buyers.

All of us need to be very careful with conversations when in the homes of others.

Dec 24, 2022 07:21 AM
Matthew Sturkie, CRS, GRI 909-969-3805
Action Realty - Apple Valley, CA
CRS, GRI 909-969-3805

Great post! Every agent and buyer need to be aware of the possibility of being recorded as soon as they set foot on someone's property. It's legal in California and I suspect it's legal in most places and always will be. 

Dec 24, 2022 08:34 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Matthew Sturkie, CRS, GRI 909-969-3805 hello Matthew... it's legal in North Carolina, but ONLY if you have notified agent and buyer in advance that they are being recorded.

Dec 24, 2022 09:31 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Sellers better not be listening in North Carolina without clearly indicating that they are doing has already lost a big lawsuit when the buyer claimed his negotiating position had been compromised because seller was listening and hadn't indicate as such. All this talk of security on listening devices is nonsense. I've been in this business 30 years and have virtually never heard of any issue arising because a seller could "spy" on buyers and their agents. This is like parents justifying cell phones for their young kids to make sure they are safe... but do they need a $1,000 I-phone for that?

Dec 24, 2022 09:30 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

The camera never blinks, the audio channel is collecting all that is said. Mum's the word or you lose your bargaining advantage blabbing your true intentions roaming through a "hot" or "bugged" house wall to wall security Hank Miller, SRA .

Dec 24, 2022 09:40 AM
Hank Miller, SRA
Ansley Real Estate/Christie's International - Roswell, GA
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser

IMO all of this is exceptionally creepy...and nonsensical

Dec 24, 2022 02:06 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Dec 25, 2022 03:37 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Hank - rocks and caves aside, participating in real estate means connecting with the "here and now" as well as remembering lessons from the past.  Be kind.  Be a good listener.  And be aware.  

Dec 25, 2022 11:10 AM