The pandemic threw a wrench into everything, and property tours as part of the real estate process weren’t spared. While in-home surveillance is nothing new, it’s of particular use these days. So heed this important reminder about the cardinal rule of property tours.
The Ubiquity of In-Home Surveillance
C.S. Lewis said it best: integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. And if that’s not enough, be very clear — in-home surveillance is everywhere, particularly when a home is being shown. And that’s just as true for vacant properties.
There are a number of new rules that must be followed to ensure everyone’s safety during private showings. And it’s unfortunately true that agents in the city have been caught recently breaking a few of them:
- Foregoing masks
- Granting access to visitors beyond those disclosed to the seller’s agent
- Failing to account for minor children
- Failing to sanitize hands upon entry
- Allowing visitors to touch various surfaces in the home
- Allowing visitors into the home without cleaning or disinfecting between showings
It goes without saying, but none of this is acceptable.
A Friendly Reminder
Under normal circumstances, in-home surveillance catches enough. It’s essential to follow Fair Housing Laws, which means idle chatter that veers into questions about a home’s neighbors quickly becomes problematic. Personal characteristics are outside the scope of an agent’s or broker’s wheelhouse, and it’s important for buyers to be aware of that.
In-home surveillance can catch other things too — legal, but unsavory, like criticisms of a home or its furnishings. What about a recording of the buyer and agent discussing their negotiating tactics and how much they’re willing to pay? It’s easy to see how things rapidly spiral out of control. Far better follow the cardinal rule of property tours — assume everything you do and say is being heard and recorded, even if there’s no posted notice, the moment you step foot on a property. Before discussing the attributes of a particular property, take a walk a block or so away. If the seller’s camera doesn’t catch you, a sympathetic neighbor’s very well might!