It might not be Big Brother but assume someone is listening
by Jane Ebury
on Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 4:52pm.
Technology, both in the home and in our day to day lives is moving fast. Buyers are looking for more and more “Smart” options in a home ie. Doorbell, thermostat, lighting, blinds, to mention a few. As this fast growing segment advances we have to be mindful that we may be monitored via video feed or audio. One basic example is the Ring Doorbell, which has capture some interesting events both concerning and extremely funny like falling over in the ice – sorry not sorry for finding that hilarious!
So how do these audio and video devices affect a real estate transaction? Certain circumstances in Florida Law, a person who uses a concealed recording device to capture private communication can be guilty of a misdemeanor and/or a felony. The law in many places remains unclear, however, audio and video surveillance is something both buyers and sellers of real estate should be aware of. Each individual's right and expectation to privacy in terms of the law is still being worked out in the courts.
Best Practices for Sellers-
1.) Be sure to disclose to your agent any surveillance on the property and place a visible sign at the property so potential buyers know and are aware.
2.) Your agent should put a disclosure in MLS
3.) Don’t eavesdrop on the property during showings. There have been court cases in which a buyer sued a seller for using confidential information that was recorded in a real estate negotiation.
Best Practices for Buyers-
1.) Buyer beware - Assume you are being watched.
2.) Keep confidential conversations about price and terms of an offer, should be discussed privately with your agent and away from potential recording devices.
3.) Remember what your parents said- don’t do anything in someone home you would want to happen in yours!