Does This House Have Eyes and Ears?Feb 25, 2021 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
With the affordability and availability of a wide range of surveillance technology for the home, monitoring is becoming more and more common during showings.
Prior to entering a home, if your Realtor® knows about it, they will inform you that the home has interior or exterior cameras recording not just your moves but possibly your conversations. But consider that many of the newer devices are not easily visible and the Realtors might not have been told that they exist. If that is the case, they do not know it and you won’t either. We are so used to being monitored these days that we might not think twice about it, but should we? As a buyer and a buyer agent, maybe we are doing nothing out of the ordinary during a showing. Putting aside the “creepiness” of being watched, viewing a home is an emotional experience; and while trying to take everything in, it can be hard to keep a poker face and keep cards close to the vest. Immersing themselves in the experience, buyers can easily forget to keep comments to themselves until a later time when they can discuss their actual thoughts in private with their Realtor. It is easy to imagine that a Seller, seeing a Buyer’s reaction or hearing their candid thoughts, could seriously hamper a Buyer’s negotiating position.
On the flip side, it is just natural for a Seller to want to “watch” a showing event in his home as it is happening in real time. But there is something a Seller might want to consider. Part of the reason a Seller spends time and energy staging their home is to pamper to Buyers’ senses. The goal of this is to keep a Buyer lingering, allowing them to appreciate certain features of the home. With eyes on a Buyer’s every move, does it deter the comfort of a Buyer by pushing them out of the home faster, thwarting the experience that the Seller has worked so hard to create?
There is a lot to learn from watching a showing. That is why listing agents request feedback from buyer agents all the time. It is extremely helpful to determine what Buyers like and do not like in a home. This information can help a Seller make adjustments to address a Buyer’s concerns. It could be comforting too. A Seller might feel compelled to record these visits from people they do not know for their own safety or security. Or they might simply want to make sure their instructions are being followed, especially in today’s COVID world. All good, understandable reasons.
As monitoring becomes an increasingly popular practice, should you as a Seller give in to the temptation of recording your showings? As a Buyer should you be cautious? It is so very easy to see and understand both sides of this issue. Sellers need to weigh the pros and cons of this for themselves and should really let their Agents know if they will be recording showings.Buyers, whether they are informed or not, should consider that these walls might actually have eyes and ears.