How I sold a house for more money because it had bugs

What real estate agents should know about video and listening devices and home showings
  • Installing hidden cameras and recording devices can lead to high-quality feedback that will help sell homes faster.
  • Recording conversations in a private place without proper consent may be illegal.
  • It's unclear how agents should handle these situations from a legal and ethical perspective, so consult a lawyer.

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Back in 2015, I received a call from a client informing me that we should be expecting an offer from the couple who had just toured his home. My immediate response was, “That’s great! I didn’t see the feedback email come across.” To which he responded, “There wasn’t an email. I bugged the house, and they discussed making a full-price offer.” My client continued to tell me that an attorney he'd spoken with stated that recording conversations within your own home was a gray area in the state of Ohio. I wasn’t sure how to respond to this news and wasn’t even sure if I had an obligation to disclose this situation to anyone. But before I had time to let the details sink in, we did receive an offer -- albeit $20,000 below asking price. In nearly every other negotiation, I would have countered with some reduction in price, but because of the intel that my client had obtained, we held firm to our asking price and went under contract within 12 hours. Than...