Careful What You Say in an Open House, You Could Be on Camera!

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Cameras are everywhere now, on our phones, our cars, and even all over our houses. 

Home security cameras used to cost thousands of dollars and required a service to maintain them. Now, however, there are more than a handful of choices of products that can safeguard your home for just a few hundred dollars. But that kind of availability can come with abuses of power. People can put cameras in changing rooms, look into other peoples windows, or spy on people who are in their own house. 

In an article in USA TODAYPaul Davidson brings to light the dangers of such abuse as an alarming trend is taking place. People who are selling their homes are using the cameras and microphones on their security cameras to spy on potential buyers at an alarming rate. 

What's the danger some of you may say, it's your house, right? Well, it gets murky as to what if the buyers know you really love the house? With the right information, they might be able to get more money out of you or leverage your interest with another interested party to create a bidding war. 

A quote from the article: 

"In a survey conducted by Harris Poll for NerdWallet this month, 15% of Americans who have ever sold a home said they've use surveillance cameras to monitor potential home buyers. And 67% say they would use such cameras if they were selling a home that already had them.

"In a competitive housing market, everything is fair game," says Holden Lewis, a housing analyst for NerdWallet, a personal finance website.""

Of course, almost 70 percent of sellers said they would listen if they could, I would too, but that doesn't mean I want someone listening to me if I was buying. It's the old mob stance of we can steal from anyone but you can't steal from us mentality. It's still wrong. It also may be illegal. 

In most states, if the home seller is accompanying the buyer the recording would be legal, as you're in their home, but if you're in their home without them and it's not trespassing, it could be illegal. The laws are murky and vary from state to state, but one thing you can do to protect yourself is to ask if the home your touring has active surveillance equipment. If they say yes then you can ask them to turn it off or Larry David your excitement. 

If you're in the market for a home the only thing you can really do to protect yourself is to remain blank. Tour the home of your dreams with an expressionless puss on your face and say nothing until you're well clear of the driveway. Though in an age of constant surveillance, perhaps your poker face should be your all the time face from now on. 

Source: USA TODAY