Buyers need to be able to speak freely while viewing a home for purchase. The last few years have been a little uncomfortable, and we’ve had to encourage buyers to postpone pertinent questions about their interest in a home (price, commute, dreams, etc) until we leave. On the other side, we have had to encourage sellers not to “intrude” on prospective buyers while they are viewing the property. Here’s our newest disclosure for sellers…
‘More Surveillance Information —-Texas law does not allow audio recording or audio monitoring of conversations that you are not a part of. If the seller is not present and participating in the showing, he cannot record it. Even though the conversation happens inside a seller’s home, he is prohibited from recording/monitoring any conversations that he is not a part of.
Many homes today have security cameras installed that record video. Some have audio recording/monitoring, similar to a baby monitor, and some without. The ECPA does not prohibit video recording. In fact, silent video-like from security cameras-is generally allowed as long as it isn’t in an area where an individual would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. For instance, silent bathroom video recording is not allowed. But silent video recording of the foyer, kid’s playroom, exterior of a home, and a garage are likely permitted.
Illegal recording/monitoring is a felony offense in Texas, and anyone who has been recorded/monitored in violation of the law can bring a civil suit to recover $10,000 for each occurrence, actual damages in excess of$10,000, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs.’
Just another example of how the real estate industry is constantly changing with the times!
Photo by Anthony Garand