Nearly a third of homesellers in a recent survey said they have used hidden cameras during showings. In some cases, it’s to spy on their own agents.

While a small number of these sellers said they always leave their cameras on for security reasons, others admitted to using hidden cameras to get a better idea of what buyers thought about their home, and even what their own agents were saying about their properties, according to a survey conducted by LendingTree.

Nearly half of snooping sellers said they used hidden cameras to discover what buyers do or don’t like about the home. In some cases, what they learned was later used against the buyer in negotiations. 

Perhaps more interestingly, nearly 1 in 4 sellers who used hidden cameras said they wanted to hear what their agent would say about the home when the seller wasn’t around.

These findings were part of an online survey of more than 2,000 participants in the home market. The survey was conducted in late June.

A significant share of sellers said they used cameras to ensure the security of their property during showings.

But even for these sellers, recording buyers may come with risks.

Many homebuyers are already on alert for cameras when they’re touring a home, and a large share aren’t thrilled about the idea of being recorded.

According to the survey, 44 percent of buyers said they wouldn’t go through with a purchase of their dream home if they learned the seller had surveilled them in secret. More than half of buyers described the practice as unfair.

Approximately 1 in 3 buyers said they suspect sellers of employing these cameras in secret — including 1 in 5 who said they spotted a camera inside the home. A similar number of buyers who worked with a real estate broker said their agent warned them they could be recorded during a showing.

The most common recording device found at a seller’s home these days is a doorbell camera, the survey said. But sellers also reported using security cameras and even video baby cameras and nanny cams to keep tabs on what’s going on during the showing.

In all, more than half of sellers said they had some kind of camera in place at home, even though not all of them were used to monitor a showing.

Email Daniel Houston

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription