Big Brother is Watching
Posted May 16, 2022 in Real Estate Trends
Do you remember that phrase ‘Big Brother is Always Watching’? Nowhere is this more true than in real estate. We live in the age of Alexa. Our homes are wired with xfinity and Ring cameras.
In the past, I would show a home to a buyer client and we would talk about the home and the pros/cons while walking around. We would even *gasp* sit down at a kitchen table to write up an offer.
When I am showing homes now in 2022, I always remind my buyer clients to wait to talk about the pros/cons of a home, their financial situation, or any offer they might want to make until after we are out of the house… in fact, until we are far away from the front door. In in our day and age, there is a very good chance someone is watching or listening to you.
When I talk with a seller client about listing their home, I take a little extra time on page 4, section 18 of the listing contract. In this particular case, line (d) Seller acknowledges that it is a violation of RCW 9.73.030 to intercept or record conversations of persons in the property without first obtaining their consent. The seller cannot record conversations or people in their home. But what about intercepting? This is where it gets a little more complicated.
Recently, I had an amazing listing that was very desirable. My client has cameras all around and in his home. On the listing, I stated that ‘cameras are on’. This is/was notice to the buyers Realtors and to their buyers there are active cameras in/around the home. By entering the home with that knowledge, consent is given. Quite a few of my listings have cameras, or Rings, or xfinity, and for these I always put in the agent remarks that ‘cameras are on’.
More people are connecting their home and outside areas to cameras. Just assume that you are being watched & listened to. As a buyer, you need to BE AWARE!
* Ask your Realtor if there were any special remarks or comments in the listing. Sometimes there is information in there that you might want to know.
* Pick up a flyer. Sometimes there is helpful information there. For example, on one flyer I had information on work that my seller client had done to the home and when it was done. On that particular home I had no less than 4 Realtors ask me about the roof – information that was on the flyer … in the flyer box, and on the counter.
* Stay with your Realtor! I know it is difficult because often you are on a timeline for showings, but stay with him/her while they show you the home. That Realtor is responsible for you during your time in the seller’s home.
* If the seller asks for your shoes to be off during the showings, please take them off or wear the booties that are often provided. I always tell my buyer clients to wear easy on/off shoes for showings.
* Appointments are often required for showings, even for vacant homes. Many times it is 24 hour notice appointments. We know you are excited to see homes, but there is nothing worse than showing up to see a home with 3-6 Realtors with their clients to see the same home. We set appointments so everyone has a designated time to see the home.
* Ask questions. Sometimes your Realtor knows the answer, and sometimes it needs to be asked of the sellers through their Realtor, and this is ok!
*It is ok to open cupboards, pantry doors and to look at storage. It is ok to look at the stove/oven, dishwasher, or built-in microwave. It is never ok to open someone’s private dressers or armoires. Rule of thumb…if it doesn’t stay with the home, don’t open it.
* If you feel the need to talk about the home, only say positive things. Please do NOT comment negatively on the price of the home, the decorating, personal effects in the home, pictures, or the opinions (whatever they may be) that are reflected in the home by the current homeowners.
* Never talk about your financial or personal situation, or offer strategy, in someone’s home where they may be listening.
As always, “may the odds ever be in your favor”. I am here for any questions, and always available to help you with your next Home Adventure. Whether you are buying or selling… I got you Boo!