When you’re in the middle of your home search you’re thinking about a dozen different things. Location, price, square footage, appliances, and style to name a few. Many of these topics are discussed when you’re viewing a potential home. But did you know doing that very thing could harm you down the line? 

According to Annie Fitzsimmons, a Washington Association of Realtors lawyer, several home sellers own nanny cameras that are concealed in every day objects. These cameras can be easily switched to watch and listen to potential home buyers while viewing their home. This can provide an uneven negotiation down the line. 

“They hear a buyer talk about how much they love the house, they’d be willing to pay full price if they have to, etc., etc.,” Fitzsimmons says. “It gives a serious edge to the seller in that negotiation.” 

While this tactic is illegal in Washington state without written permission from the parties of being recorded, Fitzsimmons warns, “It’s unlikely you or the buyer are ever going to know. You need to assume that even in states where it is illegal, the home sellers are hearing your conversations.”

In Oregon, the law is a little different. All participants in conversation have to be “specifically informed” that they are being recorded. However, under Oregon law it is not subject to a resident recording or eavesdropping on a conversation inside their own home.

In any event, Fitzsimmons advises homebuyers to avoid making specific comments that could potentially lead to downfall during negotiations and wait until outside the home to discuss details.