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Security & privacy

Spycams are now watching prospective home buyers

If you have ever sold a home before, you know that one of the most frustrating parts of the experience is not knowing what prospective buyers are thinking when they tour it. With all the money and work you put into getting it ready, you can only hope they see the home the way you do.

Do they like what you did with the kitchen? Are they disgusted by the tile you chose for the bathroom? Maybe they feel like the backyard would be too much work to maintain. Or, it’s possible they feel like the house is perfect, and they are just dying to put in an offer.

Conversely, if you’ve ever been shopping for a home, it’s nice knowing that the seller cannot read your mind. Even if you are in love with the place, the very possibility that you may be looking at another option could give you at least a tiny bit of negotiating leverage.

There are no secrets anymore

Well, as the popularity of security devices with recording capabilities rises, so, too does the chance that any conversations between shoppers and their realtors during a tour of a home will be heard by the seller.

Does that bother you?

People have every right to set up security cameras and microphones in their home, and most that exist were installed with the idea of improving home security. Whether it’s a video doorbell like a Ring or Nest, or entire monitoring system, they are fairly common and understood.

There’s also the possibility of cameras you may not be aware of, like in a wall clock, coat hook or smoke detector. For more on hidden cameras that may fool you, click here.

Anyway, the very tools meant to help protect a home could end up impacting the process of selling it because what is said during a tour of the place could also be recorded. Comments about the house may not stay between the buyer, the realtor and anyone else who is with them.

There’s not much you can do about it

Although it may very well be a disturbing invasion of privacy, there’s nothing illegal about cameras recording people walking through their home. Realtors are beginning to let their clients know that it could be happening, and awareness of the possibility is not a bad thing.

At the same time, even when you know a home seller might be recording your movements or listening to your conversations, the concept is still quite unsettling. It’s probably not a good enough reason to exclude a house from your search, but it is something to keep in mind.

If a buyer can get over the idea of their tour of the home being recorded and buy the house, there could be questions of whether or not the recording equipment stays with the home or goes with the seller. That would have to be ironed out between both sides.

Is it a good thing?

Though the very idea of spying brings about plenty of deserved negative reactions, it may actually not be a terrible thing. People who are struggling to sell their home may find things easier if they got some real-world feedback, and it would give buyers a kind of direct line to people they would otherwise often not actually get to talk to.

That all could lead toward a quicker, less-painful process for both seller and buyer. The trick will be convincing everyone that however creepy it may seem, both sides could benefit from the surveillance.

Speaking of privacy, here’s how you can lock yours down with Amazon Echo

If your Echo is set up to allow phone calls, who’s to stop people from listening to your private conversations? It’s important that you maintain as much privacy with Echo as possible – and here’s how. App background

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