More homes are now equipped with in home surveillance devices recording video and audio in the home. What does the law say about this practice of what some would call “spying” on buyers and their agent while viewing the home? Of course, a seller would not want anything stolen or damaged while strangers are in the house, but so tempting to also listen in on conversations about a potential offer or strategy to purchase the home.
- Generally, video is allowed without consent unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy (restroom). Some states require a notice that video surveillance is in progress.
- Audio is governed by state and federal law. At least one party must consent, and in California, Illinois, and Florida both must consent.
- A seller may not record a conversation between a buyer and their agent.
- Best practice is for the seller is to post a notice in the home and advise their listing agent.
- Seller beware that you could be building a case for a fair housing violation by using these devices.
- Assume you are being recorded and avoid conversations about your interest in the property while in the house. I always like to save this conversation for the driveway not the kitchen.