Real Estate: Tracking visitors to your house

So I’m a realtor and I wanted to chime in on this…

I’m not going to concentrate on state laws etc here, because if it’s your private property which you’ve opened to public, you can record all you want. Even if it’s open to public via open houses (which I am highly against because it’s a great way to get non interested thiefs to go through your house and take items)

I am going to concentrate on realtor code of ethics (if you’re a member of NAR). and for us FREC opinions (FREC is the admin body for real estate agents in FL).

A single agent representing a buyer has a form of confidentiality between the client and agent. They may speak tactics and/or strategy on how to put an offer (ie - they speak about offering 250K for the house listed at 290k, and mention their max is really 270K they’ll pay for this house).

Now you as the realtor representing the seller drop in on this conversation and eavesdrop to see that their offer is going to be 250K, but will pay 270k. you’ve violated the NAR ethics (or your state ethics) for listening in on their confidential conversation (ethics board won’t care where the conversation took place). See NAR standards of practice 1-9

I guess one way of going around this would be if you put something like “Premises audio and video recorded for security and safety purposes” in the comments section (probably public remarks, not broker remarks) so you could at least then say they were made aware on the listing.

It’s not something I would do.

If you’re concerned about your items being taken etc, make sure your listing agent meets the buyer agent at the house and follow them around within a reasonable distance, and don’t offer open houses. Open houses are a thing of the past with the invention of internet/zillow etc. nobody drives around looking for open houses like they may have in early 2000 or 90s…

and that being said, hello as this is my first post here lol


Another REALTOR chiming in here…

I show homes all the time with cameras, and other smart devices inside. I often tell clients before we leave the office that we don’t discuss personal things while in the homes.

Instead we talk in the car, or in my office. Problem solved.


illinois is an “ALL PARTY CONSENT” state.

You need all parties consent to record conversations, except under certain public circumstances.

Illinois law changed in 2014 so if you’re doing research, pay attention. Most states are “one-party-consent” states. Illinois is not.

It is still a crime under 720 ILCS 5/14-1. It’s a a class 4 Felony with a penalty of 1 - 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Only way I see around the law would be to have visiting realtors and potential buyers sign a waiver consent at the door. But I have a feeling, they would turn around and leave.

So double check your state’s laws.

Obviously if our WYZE cams caught two bad guys inside our residences discussing whether to steal the family jewels or great-gramma’s diamond necklace, the record would then be evidence in commission of a crime.

So out of curiosity, if a burglar breaks into your house do you have to get a signed consent from them to use the video against them? Or is that only if they say something incriminating?

How do you treat visitors – my indoor-looking-outdoor catch conversations all the time…

Hey, I don’t make the laws in Illinois … I just live here … why I don’t know.

NEST had to disable facial recognition on its NEST HELLO doorbells installed in Illinois (including mine), because facial recognition was outlawed in the state without consent of the person being recognized.

(The doorbell can build a database of “friendly known” faces so that they can announced by name, etc. … except in Illinois … only state out of 50 where NEST had to comply with state law and disable the feature.

And yes, Illinois is still a two-party-consent state, even in your private residence … with certain exceptions for public places where conversations have no expectation of privacy (thanks to limited exceptions added by 2014 Illinois Supreme Court decision).

Looks like “two-party consent” laws have been adopted in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

So anyone knowledgeable in those states feel free to chime in – are these cameras a legal issue in your states? How are burglars and home visitors handled? The visitors part will definitely be interesting to this conversation, I think.

I believe that all the one or two party laws are about recording audio (conversations), not video. That’s why Wyze added the ability to disable audio recording in the camera settings.

Keep in mind that even in one-party states, if you are not a party to the conversation, then you can’t record it. So you would be in violation by recording the two burglars. Hopefully law enforcement would look the other way in such a case, but who knows.

That is a real good point as I am in a one party state, and yes the one party that knows its being recorded has to be in the conversation for it to be legal, recording others having a conversation is against the law.

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You are right. Many are even called EVESDROPPING laws. But the OP mentioned being able to hear what prospective buyers were thinking in a real estate walk thru.

In that case, it would be better to have an VIDEO ONLY camera watching for breakage or theft … and not a camera with both Audio and Video with a claim that “I had audio turned off.”