Do Sellers Record or Watch Homebuyers with a Nanny Cam During Showings? Know your Privacy Rights as a Home Buyer!
When you are looking to purchase a home, keeping your thoughts and feelings about the home confidential from the seller (and from your seller's agent) is important in order to maintain bargaining power (or leverage) during your negotiation. With this in mind, its important to know your privacy rights when you enter a seller's residence.
The most important think to know is that you do have an inalienable right to privacy. However, in this day and age, it is wise to err on the side of caution and prudence. Homebuyers would be wise to expect that, once you enter another individual's property, the possibility exists that you are being recorded or watched by the sellers.
So, what does the law say? California Penal Code, Section 632 (the “eavesdropping statute”) prohibits the use of a recording device to eavesdrop upon or record a confidential communication without the consent of all parties to that communication. In short, if you think that you’re having a private conversation, then it is illegal for someone to record it. The seller of the home should always disclose the existence of surveillance equipment, and their listing agreement clearly states this fact (so long as the seller’s agent is using the forms approved by the California Association of REALTORS®). The most effective and common way to disclose this is to display clear and conspicuous signs throughout the home indicating you are being recorded. Definitely look for those signs when you enter a property, but whether or not you see them, be careful what you say!
If you know you are being recorded, leave the premises to discuss personal finances, intentions to purchase, consideration of other homes or any other factors that could impact negotiations. Whether or not a notice has been posted, it is always wise to have these conversations outside the presence of the seller or listing agent. And, while it is against the law for a seller to record your conversations, it is safest to always assume you are being recorded.
Alternatively, as a buyer, it is also important to respect the seller’s privacy. Always ask before photographing the home you are viewing since some sellers’ prohibit taking photos and videos inside the property. Most likely, that information will be listed in the MLS and your agent will advise you of this in advance. While it is very difficult for a seller to enforce this request, a potential buyer should always make their best efforts to respect the seller and their property.
If you have any questions about yours or the seller’s privacy rights, contact me, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer’s Agent to get more information.
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage.
Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.
If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home or condo in San Diego County within 90 days, contact Justin Gramm to hire an agent on your side of the transaction. More about Justin Gramm on Google+. Call Justin at (858) 437-2662 or E-mail.