Home surveillance systems can hit homebuyers

Posted at 6:25 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 10:35:42-04

It turns out that wireless internet home surveillance systems aren't just about security - they're also about selling homes at the highest price.

A new scientific poll from NerdWallet says 15 percent of homeowners use their home security systems to view people looking at their homes. And about half of those surveyed say monitoring how people react to their homes could be useful information when it comes to negotiations.

"If your client's excited about the property you don't want them to say, 'this is the one, we'll take it no matter what,'" said San Diego realtor Gary Kent. "It's not going to be good for their negotiating position."

Kent says he personally does not use the cameras when selling homes, but has warned his agents that they could be on camera when showing homes. That way they know to advise their clients to keep any emotional reaction under wraps - so they can keep the leverage they do have in San Diego's tight real-estate market. 

Still, the idea of using the surveillance system - namely audio without someone knowing - raises legal and ethical questions. The California Department of Real Estate says this could be considered a dishonest dealing and could be grounds for discipline. For it to be legal, the sellers agent would need to get permission from these being taped, or put up signs informing them of the surveillance.