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Cameras and Recording Devices During Home Showings

Posted by Justin Havre on Monday, February 11th, 2019 at 9:09am.

The Risk of Using Cameras During the Home Selling ProcessRecording devices designed to provide security for a homeowner are commonplace today. Whether they're used to make sure the nanny is giving adequate care to children or to ensure the security of the perimeter of the home, home sellers could also be recording every transaction that occurs when a buyer is touring the home. While it's natural for homeowners to want to know what a potential home buyer really thinks about their Northeast Calgary home, the information they glean from these recordings could also be used to their advantages during negotiations. 

Innocent Banter Could Contain Valuable Information

It's normal for home buyers to talk among themselves regarding the features they find attractive as well as those that are questionable. There might even be some banter between the real estate agent and the potential home buyer about the home. These recordings can help the seller position their home more attractively or change some things to help boost its potential to sell.

Potential Home Buyers Beware

There's a darker side to this seemingly innocent recording of conversations within the home, though. A home seller could capitalize on a feature that a potential home buyer really wants in order to position the sale more favorably. Similarly, if people who are touring the home talk about financial details, such as how much they are willing to offer for the home or what kinds of concessions they are willing to make, the sellers can use this information to their advantage. By formulating an offer that takes advantage of this information, a home seller can secure a significant advantage -- all without the potential home buyer even being aware of the fact that their musings are being used. 

Home Sellers Need to Beware, Too

A homeowner might think that they have the freedom to record what is happening inside and outside of their own home. Canadian law is pretty explicit about these privacy boundaries, though. In essence, the legislation enacted by officials in Canada states that a person cannot intentionally intercept or listen to a private conversation using a range of devices. Video and audio recorders fall into this category of devices that are not allowed to be used. If a home seller does intercept such conversations, he or she is then guilty of an offense that is indictable. This could result in a prison term of not more than five years

Exceptions to Canada's Legislation

As with many pieces of legislation, Canada does allow for some exceptions to the above stated criminal code. Recordings of private conversations may take place as long as one person within the conversation has given their consent to it being recorded. Based on that provision, a home seller could potentially record a conversation that takes place between them and a potential home buyer to ensure that no details are forgotten later. This is because it is understood that the homeowner consents to the recording since he or she is the one who set it up. In addition, it is not illegal to record or monitor sound, instead only "private conversations" fall into the category of unacceptable behavior. 

It is a fine balance that home sellers undertake when they use recording devices in their homes when interested home buyers are touring. These potential home buyers should take steps to protect themselves and reserve any conversations about their impressions of the home for the privacy of their own vehicle. 

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