Spycams are reportedly being used by home sellers who want to ink a deal sooner rather than later.
According to a recent LendingTree survey, 3 in 10 home sellers admit to using hidden cameras when they host an open house.
The survey, which was commissioned from the experience management firm Qualtrics, notably had a small sample size of home sellers – 346 – compared to home buyers – 1,160 – for a total sample size of 2,050.
Of those sellers who admit to using cameras without notifying buyers, 49% claim they do so to find out what buyers "do and don’t like about their home."
Three other reasons sellers offered for their spying included a desire to gather information that could help them with negotiations (36%), ensuring the safety of their home during showings (31%) and keep tabs on what their real estate agent says about their home.
"Though most sellers say they haven't used a hidden camera to watch buyers, those looking to purchase a home should still watch what they say and do on a house tour," LendingTree's Senior Economic Analyst Jacob Channel told FOX Business. "If a would-be buyer says or does something offensive to the person who currently owns the home they’re looking to buy, then the seller might decide not to do business with them."
Channel went on, "Even if you’re not on camera, it usually pays to be polite and courteous when you’re inside someone else's home, even if it's currently on the market."
Buyers aren’t completely blind to the fact that they may be recorded when they visit a home either, LendingTree’s survey revealed.
Nineteen percent of the surveyed buyers said they’ve noticed a camera inside a home they were viewing while 13% said they haven’t noticed a camera but suspect that there could have been one there.
More than half of the survey’s respondents (56%) said they think the use of spycams is unfair and an invasion of privacy, but 32% admitted they’d consider using hidden cameras if they decide to sell a home in the future.
Fifty-three percent of U.S. consumers have a spycam of some sort in their home, according to LendingTree’s survey, which includes doorbell cameras, security cameras, a video baby monitor, a nanny cam or another type of camera.
Despite the prevalence of hidden home cameras, 44% of LendingTree’s respondents said they would back out of a deal for their "dream home" if they found out the seller secretly recorded them.
Sellers who are using spycams as a means to gather information should be mindful "that looking for a home is stressful and that’s because buyers are potentially spending a lot of money," according to Channel.
"[Buyers] may come across as harsh or seem like they’re nitpicking when they look at a house," Channel said. "If you’re a seller and you overhear a buyer say something rude, like how they hate your interior decorating or paint choices, it might sting a little bit, but it’s probably not a good enough reason for you to completely avoid doing business with them."