Is it legal for the seller to record audio & video during a showing?
A: Ohio law addresses both audio and video recordings. Under Ohio law a seller is permitted to use surveillance equipment to video record on his property. The equipment used is commonly referred to as a “nanny cam.” There are, however, limitations on that right to record. A seller should not record in locations where there is an expectation of privacy, for example a bathroom.
Audio recordings, though, have stricter requirements. Under Ohio law, in order to legally make an audio recording, at least one person being recorded must consent to being recorded. Therefore, for a seller to use surveillance equipment to audio record conversations during a showing of their property, one of the individuals at the showing would have to consent to the recording. For most showings this would be either the buyer’s agent or the buyer. The fact that the seller knows about the audio recording would not be sufficient since the seller is not typically present during showings, and therefore is not a party to the conversation being recorded.
Violations of the above provisions are a 4th degree felony under Ohio law.
There are two ways to approach listing a property with video and audio surveillance equipment present.
The first approach is to request that the seller turn off their surveillance equipment during showings or anytime the property is being accessed where the conversation of others will take place (i.e. an inspection, appraisal). This requirement could be limited to audio recordings or apply to all surveillance equipment and could be included as a term of the listing agreement.
The other approach is to disclose the use of surveillance equipment and obtain consent to any audio recording. Notification of surveillance equipment could be made through the MLS or any other method used to communicate property access information. Also, a surveillance equipment notice should be posted at the property. Consent to an audio recording would need to be obtained prior to a showing or granting access to others pursuant to your duties under the listing agreement. Consent to audio recordings should be obtained in writing. For a showing, written consent would be required from the buyer’s agent or the buyer. If the buyer’s agent is providing the consent it should only be given with the knowledge and written authorization of the buyer.
If a property has surveillance equipment, the seller should be made aware of Ohio law in this area and the existence of any surveillance equipment should be disclosed to others and proper consent to audio recordings obtained. Buyer agents should caution their clients regarding property surveillance equipment and by fiduciary obligation, should never do or say anything in a property that they would not want the seller to know.
Legal articles provided in the Ohio REALTORS Buzz are intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney.
Article courtesy of Ohio Realtors Online Magazine (By Lorie Garland, Ohio REALTORS Assistant Vice President of Legal Services)
edited by JGS
Author:Jim Sfarnas Phone: 513-657-9272 Dated: March 14th 2019 Views: 484 About Jim: My goal as a Realtor is helping people find their perfect place to call home and helping sell their ...
View our latest blog posts in your RSS reader. Click here to access.
A word from Chris Russell, CEO of Plum Tree Realty:
"One of my greatest passions is to use our real estate business to help alleviate suffering in this world. So we take proceeds from Plum Tree to help orphans, feed the hungry, heal the sick and hurting, and to aid the homeless ... both in the States and abroad. We are not about "getting rich." We are about making a difference. So when you do business with Plum Tree Realty, you can know that a portion of your money is going toward helping those on this planet who are in need of help. Together we can make a difference!"
To help people realize their dreams in home ownership and real estate investing through the highest levels of broker services at the most affordable prices available.
Our Core Values:
Integrity in every relationship, decision, and transaction.
Truth in word and deed.
Hard work that keeps us ahead of the competition.
Sacrifice of our own interests for the gain of our clients.
Commitment to excellence in every task we perform.
Respect for all people.
Giving to those with whom we work.
Areas of Expertise:
Residential Real Estate Sales and Purchase
Commercial Real Estate Sales, Purchase and Leasing
Real Estate Investing (buying, selling, holding, rehabbing)
Property Management and Leasing
Putting it Together
Plum Tree Realty is a premier real estate marketing company focused on helping buyers and sellers get the highest level of real estate services. We help home owners, for instance, who have homes for sale in Mason, Ohio to price their homes in a competitive way since the market is growing in such a fast rate in that area. When a buyer is looking for West Chester, Ohio real estate for sale, we can guide them to the very best deals that are available, and we can give them expert advice as they make such a huge purchase. We cover all of the major real estate markets of the Greater Cincinnati including the following hot markets:
Cincinnati, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
West Chester, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Madeira, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Monroe, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Indian Hill, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Hyde Park, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Blue Ash, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Lebanon, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Loveland, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Fairfield, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Hamilton, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Liberty Township, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Kenwood, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Mount Adams, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
While some people search for homes according to the suburb names, others are very interested in the top school districts in the area such as homes for sale in Mason School District, homes for sale in the Lakota School District, homes for sale in the Wyoming school district, homes for sale in the Sycamore school district, homes for sale in the Monroe School District, and more. Our agents are highly-skilled in placing families in the best school districts in Cincinnati according to the desires of each family involved.
Of course, we also have great skill in helping buyers and investors find foreclosures, short sales, bank owned homes, and other great investment properties in the Greater Cincinnati Metro Area as well. Many of our agents are investors themselves, so they are great at helping other investors be the first one to the "golden egg."
We also have agents who specialize in helping families who are relocating to Cincinnati, Mason, West Chester, Blue Ash, Madeira, and any of the other regions in Southwest Ohio. It's great to have "feet on the ground" when you are looking to make such a move.
Plum Tree Realty has also become quite a favorite company for those who like to try to sell their home as a For Sale By Owner in Cincinnati as well. The reason for this is that we offer a $500 flat-fee listing to home owners who would like to sell as a FSBO, but they would also like to have a presence on the Cincinnati MLS search for homes for sale. Most FSBOs miss that exposure, but for just $500, we can help them get listed on the Cincinnati MLS and find buyers at the speed of ... the internet!
While most brokerages feel they have the best agents in Cincinnati, we truly believe that we are at the top. Many larger companies like Sibcy Cline, Remax (RE/MAX), Coldwell Banker West Shell, Comey & Shepherd, and others are at a size that makes it difficult for them to react to the markets and changing times at a great speed. Since Plum Tree is smaller, we are able to respond to market conditions rapidly and efficiently which gives us a disting market advantage. Remember: "It's not the big who eat the small; it's the FAST who eat the SLOW!"
The Art of Buying Fine Art - A few tips... February 2
"After spending a year with two listing agents and brokerages, I listed my home with limited representation to save the traditional listing commission (2-3%), use those savings to lower my list price and be more competitive in a slow market. If you're thinking of selling your own home and are comfortable with handling most aspects of the sale, you owe it to yourself to contact Chris Russell at Plum Tree Realty. They offer a flat fee MLS listing service, coaching and full service representation. You determine the level of service you need and the price paid. Their service is very professional, they do exactly what they say they will and both buyer and seller benefit from the reduced cost of selling your home."