Selling Homes Using Security Cameras And Networked Locks

Check out this WSJ article on a super well funded startup.

They use networked locks and security cameras to let prospects visits their homes for sale anytime, without an agent or person on site. The prospect simply texts them, a code to unlock the house is sent back and the company monitors the people on site via the cameras.

Pretty neat. What do you think?

They must be using an compatible panel or something similar.

I have a realtor friend that was explaining to me how she has seen security cameras in for-sale houses change the negotiation process, specifically Dropcams.

She told me she hates it when she shows houses with cameras, because there is a high chance something will be divuldged that otherwise upset the traditional price negotiation process.

Before cameras, realtors showed homes and regardless of how excited or ambitious the buyers really might be, price haggling was expected and the sellers would often come down if they though interested parties would walk away. Both realtors could meet and formally manage the sale price.

My friend was saying that Dropcam audio allows sellers to hear (the buyer's) realtors show the house, and overhear general reaction to things like condition, problems, and price.

On more than one occasion, the sellers refuse to negotiate price based on hearing how enthusiastic the buyers reacted, hold fast to the full list price, and the otherwise excited buyers pay the full amount.

Brian, can you clarify? The seller agent is at the house but the prospect is watching over the Internet?

No, the prospect and the buyer's agent are together touring the house. The sellers are somewhere else, listening in and spying through their own Dropcams.

The overheard comments give the sellers the 'inside track' on the buyer's viewpoints and impressions.

For example, if the buyers say '...and this one is priced under our budget', then the sellers are much less likely to negotiate price.

Interesting nuance...

Recording what people say as they walk through your house - without giving them notice that you are doing this - would seem to be clearly illegal.

Even though it is your house, I would think the potential buyers could make a strong case that they had an 'expectation of privacy' when conversing among themselves as they toured your joint.

However, do the same statutes apply for simply listening to those same conversations within your own house?