It’s important to be aware of potential security issues as technology evolves. One new concern is home surveillance. Cameras in doorbells and front entrance are becoming increasingly common with new the accessibility of technology and smart devices. Although it seems like surveillance is expected in luxury homes to watch over high-end objects, real estate agents are discovering them more in general across the home-price spectrum.
According to Twice, smart-home technology is used by 21% of U.S. households with 36% being future customers. Chicago Agent Magazine reported that “9 million homes have WiFi-enabled cameras with microphones, while 11 million have limited-function cameras on front doors on property exteriors.”
There is no federal law regarding camera surveillance on private property but there are some on the state level. Some states have a law that makes a video recording illegal when there is a situation where people have a reasonable exaction of privacy like a bathroom or changing room. But it’s hard to argue the level of expected privacy when you’re in somebody else’s home.
If an agent represents a seller who has surveillance, it’s best to make sure they are honest with the devices and make sure other parties are aware. E.g., have sign-in sheets at open houses that disclose surveillance inside a home. Although it might seem appealing to use cameras as some sort of leverage tool during the negotiation, it’s often better to be transparent for reputation purposes.
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