Risky Business: Home Recording Devices and the Home Selling Process


Listing your home can be stressful, and the inevitable uncertainty inherent in the
process can sometimes feel overwhelming. To find certainty in the process, many
home sellers turn to their home surveillance systems to gather intel from
prospective homebuyers during tours.

Listing your home can be stressful, and the inevitable uncertainty inherent in the
process can sometimes feel overwhelming. To find certainty in the process, many
home sellers turn to their home surveillance systems to gather intel from
prospective homebuyers during tours.

While home security devices are generally legal, and can be a prudent security
measure, when it comes to the listing process, you need to be aware of the legal
limitations. Follow these parameters to make sure you’re staying on the right
side of the law:

1. Be aware that jurisdictions differ in their approach to the legality of
recording devices – especially when it comes to auditory recordings.
For listings in the U.S., the National Association of Realtors has a handy
chart, available at this link. You can ask your real estate attorney as well.
www.nar.realtor/legal/video-and-audio-surveillance-state-law-survey

2. Take privacy into consideration. Some home sellers are tempted to put
video cameras in bathrooms because medical prescriptions have been
known to disappear from medicine cabinets during showings. A safer
option is to clear out and lock up all medicines and valuables.

3. Provide clear notice of recording devices in your home. Even if the
laws applicable to you do permit you to secretly record visitors, a best
practice is to post a prominent sign on your door if you choose to keep
your your surveillance equipment active during home showings. For an
additional layer of courtesy, you can always ask your real estate agent to
let the buyers’ agent know about the cameras as well.

Source: Jessica Edgerton,
EVP of Operations/
Corporate Counsel
Leading Real Estate
Companies of the World®