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3 in 10 Sellers Say Security Cameras Have Monitored Buyers

Security cameras are cheap, easy to install and almost everywhere. The top reason sellers monitor home shoppers? To find out what they don’t like about their house.

NEW YORK – Three in 10 home sellers say they’ve used a camera during an open house or showing at their home, according to a new LendingTree study of more than 2,000 consumers.

The most common reason, cited by almost half of those who provided reasons (49%), is to understand what homebuyers do and do not like about the property. However, 1 in 3 (36%) of the homeowners who monitored buyers said they did it to gather information that could be useful during negotiations.

For one in four (23%), it wasn’t about the buyers. They wanted to hear what their real estate agent said about the home.

The most common monitoring equipment is doorbells and security cameras. Baby monitors and nanny cams were less common.

According to the buyers surveyed, more than one in four (29%) were warned about cameras by their agent, and they toured homes on the assumption that their moves and conversation could be monitored.

Attitudes about cameras vary

Despite the use of surveillance cameras, 56% of consumers said it doesn’t make them want to back out of a deal to purchase their dream home, even if they do find out the seller is secretly recording them. The remaining 44%, however, said they would not buy a home if they felt “spied on.” Still, most buyers don’t like being recorded, feeling as if it’s an invasion of their privacy even when in someone else’s home.

However, one in three consumers (32%) are okay with recording someone else if they’re potential buyers for their home, saying they’d consider a hidden camera during a future home selling process. Gen Zers (ages 18 to 24) are the most likely at 41%, while only one in five baby boomers (ages 56 to 75) said they would, the survey found.

Why sellers recorded buyers

  • To understand what buyers do and don’t like about my home: 49%
  • Gather information that could be helpful during negotiations: 36%
  • Ensure their home is safe during showings: 31%
  • See what my own real estate agent is saying about my home: 23%
  • No reason – cameras are always on for home security: 10%

Source: “Nearly a Third of Home Sellers Admit to Hidden Camera Use During Showings,” LendingTree (July 29, 2021)

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