Blog Post Image


We are living in times of boundless technological innovation and this is impacting virtually every domain of life in more and more interesting ways. Cameras have become a secret marketing tool for homeowners in recent years and it’s important for buyers to up their game as well.

Home sellers are getting a sneaky advantage and realtors are now trying to tell prospective buyers they need to watch their words and actions when moving through homes. From cheap Wifi-enabled cams and microphones to sophisticated home camera systems, there are so many different facilities nowadays helping to keep them under close surveillance during views.

From a USA Today’s report on a survey recently carried out by Harris Poll for NerdWallet, up to 15% of Americans with any previous home selling experience reported to have used surveillance cameras to spy on potential buyers. Also, about 67% accepted they would use such gadgets if they were selling a property which they had occupied.  

As you might have guessed already, it goes beyond security because sellers are using the intel they gather from the surveillance to leverage against buyers during negotiations. Imagine a homeowner overhearing a buyer saying, “I love the place”. You bet the chances of budging on the asking price will be pretty low. Similarly, an overly critical buyer can turn the seller off.


But is all this legal?

Well, it depends on a lot of things because surveillance laws vary across different states in the country. There are many grey areas in the regulations on this subject accounting for the practice becoming increasingly common among home sellers everywhere including Hunterdon County, New Jersey.  Especially is rural areas like Holland, Delaware, and Alexandria Township, it is commonplace to see cameras on the front of a property with large acreage.

Check out a summary of audio and video surveillance laws state-by-state as compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR is encouraging sellers interested in setting up cams and audio gadgets in their homes to inform buyers. People should know they are being watched. Certain regional realtor groups are already making it a requirement for homeowners to communicate if people will be surveilled during viewing. Some agents always advise their clients to just “pretend the seller is home,” and “assume someone is listening” you never know.

Here are some of the other things to watch out for when going through a property you want to buy;


-       First, remember to ask whether or not you are going to be under surveillance.

-       The seller might be watching, so be careful about everything you say related to family photos, décor, and other personal stuff in the home. Your words can turn them off. 

-       Also, watch your words about the price and how you would love to low ball even though it appears to be competitively priced.

-       Most importantly, keep your emotions in check and avoid to show over-excitement, interest, or displeasure. Your reactions may be all your seller needs to influence negotiations to favor them.


Now you know you might be under surveillance during property views. Make sure it doesn’t work against you. An expert realtor will help you handle this and possibly turn it in your favor.