If you have decided to begin viewing homes on the market, it’s important to remember to keep private thoughts, hopes, and ideas from the seller. Let’s say you’ve hired a reputable buyer’s agent who you can trust with your opinions and comments of the home. As your agent, the private conversations should not make their way back to the sellers. Furthermore, if you are not represented by a Real Estate Agent and buying a For Sale by Owner (FSBO), be especially careful in speaking to the seller! By following these tips, you are safe, right? Well, not necessarily. Today, recording devices may create a new wrinkle in your real estate negotiations.
Home security systems, voice assistants, and other electronic devices could record or video what you don’t want a seller to know. Actually, verbal communication, physical gestures, or facial expressions could provide the seller an advantage in negotiations. Just think, if sellers witness that the buyer is overly excited about the home, then the seller could be less likely to lower the price in negotiations. Something as small as talking about where buyers will put their sectional couch when the home is theirs could put a buyer at a disadvantage. Although it appears subtle, it is more than the seller needs to know.
Technology continues to advance many areas of our lives, but when it comes to looking at a home, just beware of recording devices and keep a poker face during the showing.
Be Quiet Around These Recording Devices
- Google Home
- Apple Homepod
- Security cameras
- Computers & TV’s
- Baby monitors
- Pet cams
- Doorbell cameras
Back in the day, a buyer would worry about the nosy neighbor trying to snoop around. Although, the neighbor was not inside the actual house. Technology changes that. For instance, home voice assistants offered by companies such as Google, Amazon, and Apple have become the new norm.
“This house has a fantastic security system complete with cameras. No one is going to be able to hurt us when we live in this house!” Maybe that it is true, but it could hurt a buyer prior to even owning it. The security cameras can follow buyers around the house relaying and/or recording buyer reactions and comments. Finally, baby monitors and pet cams. That’s right, you may have not considered these, but they can potentially record or relay video and sound just like the other devices. There are even doorbell cameras offered by security companies and one called “Ring” that provides video.
There are probably more video and recording devices that are not listed. Who knows; maybe even the toaster can record you one day! Our best recommendation is not to speak of anything of any significance in or around the home being viewed. Take notes, take pictures, or video the house to review later.
Even though a homeowner may have these devices, (most of the time I’m sure they are not for the purpose of learning buyer’s inner thoughts of the home or negotiations) sellers could legitimately be concerned with having strangers wander through their house. It is possible that buyers could be casing the house for a later robbery or items could be stolen at the home showing. With that said, the important thing is to be aware as a buyer.
Are you a Real Estate Agent interested in learning more? Contact one of our OVM Financial Loan Officers.