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Navigating the Changing Landscape of Home Viewing and Surveillance

Jul 21, 2023  
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With the increasing integration of “smart” technologies in homes, the process of purchasing real estate is undergoing a transformation. Home sellers are now utilizing video and audio surveillance to eavesdrop on potential buyers, leveraging the information gathered during negotiations. This puts buyers at a clear disadvantage, highlighting the need for caution during the home viewing process.

In this evolving landscape, it is prudent to assume that you are being recorded and adjust your behavior accordingly. While it can be challenging, particularly since buying a home is often a personal and emotional experience, it’s crucial to keep any comments to yourself during the home showing. Avoid expressing excessive enthusiasm about the home’s features, proclaiming it as a perfect fit, or excessively critiquing its flaws.’

It’s important to note that being outside the home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re free from potential surveillance. Many recording devices, such as video doorbells from brands like Nest and Ring, are designed to capture activities outside the property as well.
Instead, wait until you are in a secure environment such as your car, office, or home to discuss the showing with your REALTOR and share your thoughts, both positive and negative.

Experts predict that the use of new technologies will only become more prevalent in real estate, which could introduce additional complexities into the purchase process. While many real estate professionals advocate for sellers to disclose the use of recording devices, privacy laws surrounding this issue can be intricate.

From a seller’s perspective, leveraging surveillance devices, particularly if they are already installed in the home, makes sense as a reliable means of maintaining security during showings, especially when homeowners are not present.
On the other hand, for buyers, the prospect of being recorded can be disconcerting and might hinder their ability to develop an emotional connection with the home.

Ultimately, it is crucial to exercise awareness and caution during home showings. As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. Stay informed about the evolving landscape and adapt your behavior accordingly to protect your privacy and negotiate from a position of strength.

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