Buyer beware: Home owners can record you during a showing

Buyer beware: Home owners can record you during a showing
Updated: May. 4, 2018 at 7:54 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - In the age of high-tech home security, prospective buyers may be recorded during an open house or showing. Realtor Neal Johnson said sellers may have security cameras in their home, and they are legally allowed to record video in North Carolina.

Johnson said even though North Carolina is a one-party consent state — meaning you can record someone without their knowledge — there are restrictions.

"When the house is empty, and the only two people in the home are the buyer and the buyer's agent, the seller is not a party in that conversation so you can't have any audio recording," Johnson said.

He said sellers should make their agent aware of surveillance features before they list their home so that agents can tell prospective buyers. Johnson said even without audio recording, it is possible for a seller to get clues from video.

"The showing went well, and they started jumping up and down and hugging," Johnson said. "They say, 'Oh, these people really love my home' and that could give them a slight advantage, an unfair advantage by seeing things."

Jennifer Umbaugh restores and sells historic homes. She said she's never had cameras in her homes, and finds it disturbing they would be used to give the seller the upper hand.

"A house is a house, and there's a perfect buyer for that house and a buyer is going to come along and I think filming so you can get an advantage during negotiations is really very underhanded," she said.

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