Privacy and Disclosure of Baby Cams

video signBaby cams, or nanny cams, are often used in homes to help parents keep track of their children while they’re in another part of the home, away from the house or even keep an eye on pets while at work. When listing your home for sale, what’s the protocol for disclosing that there is a baby cam or other surveillance device in your home?

There is generally an accepted expectation of privacy when visiting someone’s home, whether it be a friend, relative or while touring a home listed for sale. The best decision, as a seller, is to disclose that there is a surveillance device in the home and that buyers and their brokers could be recorded on a baby cam or other type of device. Privacy laws differ state-to-state, so to avoid any possible legal claims, its best to have a conversation with your listing broker before listing your home for sale about the best way to disclose the presence of any video device so that buyers and brokers entering the home are aware of the possibility they will be recorded.

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How Smart is Your Home?

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flickr/ebaylink

I was recently  approached for an         on-the-street survey conducted by a major local tech company regarding smart houses, asking if I would value “smart house” features in the future for comfort, convenience, energy conservation and security.

The growth of  “smart homes” has exploded worldwide. According to a recent article in Realtor® Magazine, approximately 100 million households will be “smart” by the end of the year and that number is expected to grow to 300 million in the next ten years. Obviously tech companies are banking on this trend, as the market for products regulating home automation, appliances, energy use, security and data analytics is growing. The big question is consumer need and acceptance . . .

  • will a smart home factor in a buyer’s decision to purchase one home over another
  • with prices still relatively high and technology still fairly complicated, will the average homeowner embrace the technology
  • is this just a passing fad, or could the technology eventually take off (solar panels took years) and demonstrate a return-on-investment

Consumers are increasingly tech savvy and showing more interest in smart home technology. While these products are growing in popularity (thermostats, alarms, cameras, auto-locking doors, etc.) and can be controlled from a smart phone or tablet from just about anywhere, how many buyers will be more likely to buy a home if smart products are installed? Is smart home technology an upgrade the average homeowner would consider instead of making cosmetic updates? It will be interesting to see how long it takes for smart home technology to be the new norm.