ActiveRain Tutorials: Are Sellers Listening To You During The Showing? [VIDEO]

Are Sellers Listening To You During The Showing? [VIDEO]

  • Watching YouToday is Amazon Prime Day and while I have spent most of the afternoon fighting the website to order a few items, one of the things I realized pretty quickly was that smart home technology is growing at a rapid rate.  This was made evident to me by the enormous amount of smart home tech deals that were being featured in the sale this year.  Everything from Amazon Alexa devices to smart outlets, thermostats, lights, doorbells, keys, and so much more.  That being said, are sellers listening to you during the showing?

As I began to think about this more, it made me realize how important it is to educate my buyers better before going out to show properties to them.  With the increase in these devices, it also means there's an increased chance that sellers are going to be listening in to our conversations as we walk through the home.  Devices like the Ring Doorbell, Nest Cameras, and so many other smart cameras make it super easy for you to now keep an eye and ear on your home from your smartphone while you are away from it.

These devices will alert you when motion or sounds are detected at your home and allow you the opportunity to immediately grab your phone to watch & listen in.  Heck, if you wanted to, you could even talk to the people who enter your home and have a conversation with them while they are still there.  (I wouldn't recommend it if you are selling though, bad bad idea.)

In the past while we would walk through the home I would try & ask my buyer clients qualifying questions to see if this might be the right home for them to purchase and wouldn't think twice to make comments like "this home fits perfectly in your range if you wanted to do a cash purchase" or something like "your lender said we are pre-approved for $250,000 so if we needed to go to full list price, we have the ability to do so and still be within your budget."

Nowadays though, these types of conversations are not being held in the home with my buyers because when we do that, we could be giving away valuable negotiation power to the sellers.  The client level information that we used to be able to talk about freely while viewing homes can now be easily picked up on by sellers and backfire against us in the negotiation process.

What To Do?

So, what should you do these days when viewing homes? First off, I'd keep all my comments positive about the home while inside. If the wallpaper is hideous and you don't like the color of the bathroom, keep that information to yourself.  If you talk negatively about the home you want to place an offer on, you might offend the seller to where they don't want to sell the home to you, or they become unwilling to negotiate rationally.

Next, if there are things you like about the home, don't show your hand on this either.  If the seller sees you on video jumping up and down and hugging your spouse because you just saw the master bathroom and it has the walk in shower of your dreams, they will know that you are obsessed with the home and less likely to walk away over a little more money and it could cost you more in the long run.

Instead, try to keep your emotions in check, both the good and bad when walking through a home.  Obviously, if you have questions about something in the property, make sure to always ask those to your REALTOR® while walking through the home.  If you wait until later to try & do so, you might forget them.  Next, try & keep any remarks towards anything related to your financial position till after you leave the home.  Once you are back in the car with the agent, you can then have that open and free conversation again.

So next time you are out looking at property, keep this in mind to help your agent negotiate for you in a better manner!

Originally Posted on my blog about Myrtle Beach Real Estate here.

I'm a full time Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent that focuses on homes for sale in Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest Real Estate.


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Comment balloon 16 commentsJeremy Blanton • July 18 2018 04:17PM


Hi Jeremy- great seeing you here!  I've decided that even if I'm not looking at a home to buy, even if I'm in anyone's home, I'm taking the assumptive approach that there is at least one camera in the home.And yes, Buyer's Agents need to educate their clients about this possibility. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 2 years ago

Interesting blog for today.  I was thinking about going on the site today to check things out also.


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 2 years ago

Human nature has people watching people automatically. This is allowed. There is a dark side to it however and currently it is out of hand. What can you do?

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 2 years ago

Very true in todays world.  I have had sellers tell me they watched the buyers walk through their home. It makes you think twice about what you say in the house. 

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) over 2 years ago

Jeremy I was just at a home that had Ring and I alerted the buyers that we were being watched and maybe listened to -  so don't say much. The funny part is holy moly rocky - there were over 20 stuffed large animals all over the house staring at us. Now how does one Not talk about all those animals.....not possible. Pretty interesting.

Anyway - it's so important to have these conversations with all buyers these days and not mess up their negotiating leverage.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) over 2 years ago

Great insight.  I'm trusting to my demise often.  I would never consider spying on people as they looked through a property that I personally had for sale, but it's not that far fetched with the technology we have now!


Posted by Acacia Taylor, Currently training to test (In Training) over 2 years ago

Terrific topic and a very timely one! I lost a listing last year because I was the listng agent on a home and one of my fellow agents (very well established top agent) wanted to show the house to her buyer without me there. I always attend all showings on all my listings and that is one thing I make sure my homeowners know. In this case I also made sure they undestood that once in a while i may not be available in which case I would have an agent there in my place. I was NOT informed by  the homeowner that they had a device that was hidden and that video tape recorded all activity in the home at all times, in every room. In this one incident I let this agent in to show her customers--then I went to my car that was parked just out side the view of the video and sat there as she showed the house. Not knowing I was being watched, I thought nothing of waiting until the agent left with her customers and I finished up a phone call that I had taken while waiting. The next day I got a call from the owners who live in California and they claimed that I left the house open and that I "irresponsibly left it vulnerable to theives" while I took my time somewhere else!! They fired me on the spot, not even understanding what had really happened---then they told me that I was watched at all times during my open houses--they saw that I did not take my shoes off once as I was coming into the house to show it--I had walked into the kitchen before I remembered to take my shoes off so went right back out and took them off--but they saw that. I told them that I didn't know what the law is in California but that I needed to inform anyone walking through a showing here in New York that they were being video taped--that they had made a big mistake by not telling me as well...I really didn't want to work for them after that in any case after that call!! Great post and I am certain that I will always be aware of the possibilites even if I am not informed of a device--I always assume there is one!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 2 years ago

It is always entirely possible in this day and age that we are being recorded or monitored in the homes we well as any number of other places. 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 2 years ago

Seller's do need to disclose the prescence of recording devices. Was reading a similar thread somewhere not to long ago and an attorney stated it better be clearly posted on the front door and that the homeowner is breaking the law by recording without the others knowledge. Reasonable right to privacy violation. Could be a pricey law suit for a seller.

Posted by Bruce Minter, One on one - Every step of the way! (James & Lee Realty) over 2 years ago

I know it's the world we live in but it makes prospective buyers (and their agents) terribly uncomfortable, as we can't have those honest conversations while touring the home. Great topic and great video, Jeremy.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) over 2 years ago

We are supposed to assume everyone is recording. It's hard not to discuss things while in a house, but necessary.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 2 years ago

Great video and topic. It's wise to err on the side of caution - one never knows, even though it should be disclosed if there are monitoring devices in the home. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 2 years ago

Great current topic.  The Maryland Listing Contract now has Paragraph 10 - "Home Security Systems that Record Audio - Seller is advised that Maryland law prohibits audio recording of private conversations without the consent of all parties."   It is still a concern though and I am always cautious about what I say in a house now.   

Posted by Elizabeth Y. Foulds, Your St Michaels Realtor (Long & Foster Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Hi Jeremy! SAGE advice and fitting for our clients these days, for sure! I tell them that we can talk when we leave but, just look through that house and don't say anything! It's sad that we have to do this but, you're so right - it does impact our buyers' negotiating position.

Happy Friday!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 2 years ago

Great video and post.  It's so important to be mindful of smart home technology. One of my home sellers had a camera and I forgot about it when i showed her home.  She told me how nice I looked. Then it dawned on me.  I felt inimidated and it was my listing!  

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 2 years ago

I was looking for your current posts. I hope all is going well for you.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 1 year ago