In this day and age of video surveillance systems, this is a game-changer in real estate. Potential buyers must be aware of the possibility of being video recorded while in a seller’s home. But….did you know that here in Texas, audio recording of which the person recording is NOT a party to the conversation is a FELONY?
Under the Texas Penal Code “it is prohibited to audio record without the consent of at least one individual who is part of the conversation.“
Recently, an agent called me (broker) to complain about one of my agents showing one of her listings. She was upset with some of the things being said while showing. I asked her how she knew of this conversation and she said that her clients audio recorded the conversation during the showing. Rut roh!
Not only did she admit this, but when pulling up the listing, she was not only the listing agent but also the owner. (Would have been nice of her to disclose this when she called me.) Alas, and bottom line – what she did was against the law in our state. You may not audio record with the consent of one of the party members of the conversation.
This brings to light the fact that we should be having these conversations with our agents, our sellers and our buyers.
1. Seller’s should be educated about the law in their state regarding audio/video recordings.
2. Buyer’s should be educated that they could be recorded while in a home. Therefore, sensitive
comments such as negotiation strategies, etc. should wait until you are out of the home.
3. Agent’s should also be aware of being audio/video recorded while in homes.
The penalty here in Texas for unauthorized audio recordings is $10,000 for EACH occurrence! Yowzer! That would not be good for any potential Seller to have to pay!
Just another excellent tip for all of us in real estate to be aware of. All eyes and ears are upon us for sure! Happy selling!
This article is a great resource from our Texas Association of Realtors.