Google “video surveillance systems” and over 5.6 million hits come up.
You can buy a surveillance system for under $100, so it’s no wonder we are hearing more and more stories about sellers setting them up in their homes so they can watch and hear buyers as they view their property.
Your buyers could be at a serious disadvantage as the sellers may learn confidential information about their situation, react negatively to something they say or do or just build biases against them for reasons unknown.
I find the idea unsettling so I checked in with the law firm of Singleton Urquhart and partner Alana Dale- Johnson and sure enough, if sellers set up surveillance they are obligated to inform those who attend their property.
A notice must be in a visible spot, and we know many sellers won’t post this notice.
I think it is of major importance to have this conversation about surveillance with your buyers prior to any property showings. Even minor comments made during the showing could have adverse effects.
As for our sellers, while this additional information could be very valuable in a negotiation, my sense is that if buyers know or discover that they are being videotaped, they may lose a little trust with the seller and this could also have a negative effect.
Either way, be aware!
Don’t let your client be disadvantaged in the offer negotiations by a simple oversight.