Can a Homeowner Leave Security Cameras on During Showing in North Carolina?

Real Estate Broker Eric Andrews discusses privacy issues related to a homeowner leaving their cameras on during a home showing. There are many ways to handle this and Eric discusses the pros and cons of each.

Should Cameras be Used by the Seller?

Eric reminds everyone that he’s not an attorney, so he’s not an expert on the laws regarding privacy during a home showing. He asked a recent homeowner of a $500k house to take their cameras down once the house was to be shown. The homeowners had no problem with that.

Why No Cameras?

Eric has seen some examples where people might be getting an unfair advantage if the cameras were rolling during the showing:

  • Prospective Buyer could put down the seller’s home and upset the seller.
  • The seller could hear a potential buyer say that they love the house and will offer 97% of asking value but says they will pay full price. This gives the seller a huge advantage.
  • Basically, any information obtained in secret could give that person a definite advantage.

We Want the Buyers to get Full Experience

Eric says some of his agents have told their clients to keep it down while in the house because they might be being recorded. This puts the buyer on edge and ruins their experience. They want to be free to express their opinion so they can make decisions.

The presence—even if by recording—of the seller disrupts the process.

The Guy Under the Bed!

Eric recalls a case 15 years earlier where the seller would always be at the showing. One of their agents told the seller he couldn’t be there for the next showing, and he agreed.

However, at the next showing………. one of the buyer’s comments was that the house smelled like dog.

The seller heard the comment and jumped out from under the bed! 

The seller told them to leave because the comment made him upset.

This is obviously not the atmosphere you want when selling a home.

The Law Today

Eric reiterates that the law today allows for a video to be taken, but audio only if at least one party knows their conversations are being recorded which admittedly doesn’t restrict the audio either so long as the seller knows of the recording.

The best thing to do is to go into the showing asking the questions about recordings and cameras so that you know how to proceed and can have the best showing experience possible.