Home buyer beware: Your private home viewing may not be so private

It’s only been a few years since I first saw a serious home surveillance system installed in a Saskatoon home I’d been hired to market and sell. It was an impressive and sophisticated system that enabled the home owner to look in and listen to what was happening in their home while they were away. They used it regularly to monitor the home.  I later learned that they used it to look in on buyers who were viewing the home.

At the time, systems like this were rare because they did cost a lot of money. The value of this particular system was in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Just a few years later, surveillance systems are a dime a dozen. In fact, a $5.00 iPhone app can monitor up to a dozen audio and video feeds using simple equipment like webcams. Small cameras and microphones can easily and inexpensively be used to monitor activity in the home.

The same equipment can be used to look and listen in on your “private home viewing.”

When viewing homes as a prospective buyer it’s best to behave as if you’re being watched. Avoid judgmental comments about the home owner’s lack of taste. Try not to get too excited. Put on your poker face. Save your negotiating strategy discussions for the car ride home.  Behave as you would if the home owner were right there with you. They just might be.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

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Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate