Wisconsin home buyers attending open houses and showings can be under video surveillance by the home seller. According to a WI state law passed in 2020, sellers are free to use cameras to monitor their homes, even if such cameras are hidden. There is no requirement to forewarn buyers, or their real estate agents, about the use of such cameras.
There are a couple of exceptions:
1. Surveillance may not be conducted in bathrooms.
2. Private conversations that take place with a “reasonable expectation of privacy” may not be audio recorded by a third party who is not part of the conversation.
In other words, if buyers are talking to their agent, a seller who is not part of the conversation cannot use electronic devices to eavesdrop. This means home sellers should disable any audio recording on their camera system prior to a showing.
As a Wisconsin home buyer, it may be impossible to know whether or not the seller has video cameras, and if such cameras have audio enabled. Your best bet is to keep a “poker face” while touring a home, and hold your comments until you are completely off the property. Otherwise, the sellers could detect how you feel about the home, and have an advantage over you in any negotiations.
This is very general information, not intended as legal advice. Wisconsin home buyers or home sellers who have questions about the use of recording equipment during a home sale should consult an attorney.
Ready to buy or sell a Northwestern Wisconsin home? Having the professional guidance of local real estate experts makes all the difference! Six Lakes Realty is a locally-owned family business with over 40 years of experience in Northwestern WI real estate! Call us today for friendly, hometown service!
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Office: (715) 924-4806