Security Cameras
In the US, almost half of buyers surveyed said they use security cameras. Image – Canva
  • One in three sellers in the US have admitted to using cameras to spy on buyers
  • Those that do so mainly want to know what the buyers think of the property
  • Half the buyers said they would drop out of a deal if they knew they were being spied on

Walk down any street – if and when you are allowed to, of course – and your daily meandering will probably be picked up by a series of CCTV cameras. But, do you think you might be on camera at a weekend home open?

Over in the US, one in three property sellers are using hidden cameras to spy on potential buyers, a recent survey from LendingTree revealed.

The survey of 2,000 American buyers and sellers found that, of those used cameras, 49% said they did so to determine what the buyers like or don’t like about their home.

36% admitted they used information gleaned from the cameras in their negotiations with the buyers.

31% of sellers said they used the cameras for security reasons, in case anything was stolen or broken during home open inspections. 23% said they used them to see what the real estate agent was saying about their home.

Reasons sellers use hidden cameras to spy on buyers

LendingTree survey
Source: LendingTree, survey conducted 24-29 June, 2021.

On the other side of the ledger, 44% of buyers said they would back out of any property deal if they knew the seller had secretly recorded them. So this is a risky game.

And is it ethical? Unlikely. Legal? Doubtful.

When viewing a property as a buyer,
have you suspected you were being recorded?

LendingTree survey
Source: LendingTree, survey conducted 24-29 June, 2021.

In the same survey, a third of buyers assumed sellers were up to this kind of activity, so were guarded in what they said or did during home opens.

More than half (56%) of survey respondents said they don’t think it’s fair for home sellers to use hidden cameras during showings to gather intel because they believe it’s an invasion of privacy as buyers aren’t aware of the surveillance.

About one in three houses in the US have some kind of listening device, such as an Alexa or Google Home device. Ring cameras and other security equipment around the home are commonplace.

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