We are all on camera - all the time. It's the reality of our 2022 world that the Big brother world doesn't loom in future, it is soundly here in every business, street corner, car, handheld device, and yes, most homes that are listed on the market. Oh, and Alexa is listening! We are all reality TV stars of our own Truman show, seemingly every moment documented and posted on social media. Therefore it should not be a surprise to buyers that you are on camera on many showings of homes.
Sellers are watching and judging - I have worked with homeowners who livestream showings and open houses, complete with instant color commentary via text such as "This clown can't afford our house", "They let their kids jump on our bed!" It is tempting for sellers to take a peek at who is examining their beloved home and who may write an offer. It is very anxiety-producing listing a home and wondering if buyers will feel the same way about their home as they do. Few people actually enjoy having their house on the market, open to the public to scrutinIze and the population of home cameras gives them a portal into who exactly is there, leveling the judgement playing field. In fact, unfortunately it invites discrimination that most likely contravenes the Fair Housing Act.
My advice to the buyers out there is to assume you are on camera and don't say anything you wouldn't say directly to the sellers. I know agents who have been caught on camera opening the front door with nasty remarks. Commenting on style or taste or even anything about the home remotely negatively WILL hurt you in a competitive environment! Similarly, on another note, if the list agent is there, please withhold your comments or misgivings. If I am on a showing representing the seller I will report back "doubts". Almost like the hormones that make us think our babies are the cutest in the world, house pride prevents sellers from seeing faults, and the last thing you need to do is point these out. Let your agent do that in the negotiations with the other agent. Discussing the offer just outside where it can all be captured on a Ring doorbell is showing all your cards. "We will offer X but our max is Y." DOH!
Recently, my buyers and I saw a home riddled with cameras with the lights on. We spoke as if the sellers were there (they likely were) and hours later their offer was accepted. Lastly, please make sure to treat the home as if it were your own, respectful and polite, keeping kids off personal property, no animals and soon it may be.