(I Always Feel Like) Somebody’s Watching Me is a cheesy song from the 1980s by one-hit wonder Rockwell. But is someone watching you when you show a house? Maybe!
Consider this scenario. A buyer-client wants you to show them a new listing. You and the client go look at the house and submit an offer. The seller counters at the price you and your client had discussed as their bottom dollar. Was this just a coincidence, or did the seller somehow find out information about your buyer’s interest?
It may not be a coincidence at all. The seller may have overheard your conversation with your client and you never knew it. Home cameras are a booming business. More and more, homeowners have security cameras not only on the outside of their home but also on the inside of the house. The cameras are often motion or voice-activated. Once activated, the camera can record conversations, and some allow the homeowner to view what is happening in real time. A Harris Poll conducted for Nerdwallet found that 15% of Americans who have sold a home claim to have used a surveillance camera to monitor potential home buyers. More disturbing, 67% said they would use a camera to spy if they were selling their home.
Since this technology can be as small as a golf ball, you need to enter each listing as if the seller is actually in the room with you. Do not discuss confidential matters in the house. Most importantly tell you client not to discuss anything they would not want the seller to hear until you are completely clear of the property. The front stoop is the worst place to discuss the house. You don’t want your buyer-client giving up information that the seller could use against them in negotiations.
As an aside, also be careful opening drawers or cabinets that are out of the ordinary in a showing. If the seller sees you looking through the drawers of a piece of furniture or a medicine cabinet, they may file a grievance against you and refuse to sell the house to your client.
Here is a great article from USAToday that discusses the use of cameras.
Our Annual Tailgate Party is less than a month away!! Blair Cato’s Annual Military Appreciation Event will be held September 19 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm in our Parking Lot at 700 Huger St. We will have silent and live auction items, BBQ, beer and music by Tokyo Joe! The event is free and open to all real estate agents. All proceeds go to the South Carolina Military Family Care Association. Together we have raised almost $50,000 for the SCMFCA over the past three years!
Photo by osseous