Increasing Use of “Nanny Cams” in Home Selling

Nanny cams are a great way for the first time parent to obsessively watch their kids while being in another room. In retrospect, I kind of wish I had invested in one of these as it may have made the toddler years easier for me to survive (note to self: remember to get one for the teen years). These days, nanny cams aren’t just for over protective parents, as one Washington Association of Realtors lawyer points out, but for home sellers as well.

Nanny cams, or monitors, have multiple functions, whether it be simply audio, or video as well. A seller can put these in plain sight ( as I have seen before), or choose to place them in an everyday object that may not be as detectable. The purpose of this would be for the seller to be able to hear and or see what a buyer thinks about their home. In some cases, it also may tip off the seller that an offer is going to be made.

Using nanny cams in home selling raises all kinds of questions. How legal is this? Will more buyers want their agent to ask sellers about the presence of monitors prior to viewing a home? How does this alter how a buyer looks at a home?

I did a little research, and in Oregon, recording a conversation without a person’s permission is illegal, unless a person is recording in their own home. In my opinion, although I have seen nanny cams, and they are increasing in use, it still wouldn’t be considered a common occurrence in the home selling process. It is my belief that in most cases, the use of cameras would be advertised in the MLS, however, if it is not advertised and you are concerned, you may always ask your realtor to look into it prior to viewing a home. As always, it is good practice to focus on how well the home fits your needs while viewing, reserving conversations regarding offers for when you are outside the home.