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Beware! Big Brother vendors could be listening to you

17 April 2014 Andrew Jennings

Vendors placing recording devices in open houses in an attempt to catch out real estate agents may be common practice in Australia, according to one Raine&Horne agent.

Lisa Ramsey, a real estate professional with The Ramsey Group in the United States, told Realtor Mag earlier this week "about the trend of sellers putting [microphones and] cameras in the home”.

“I go into every house assuming there’s a recording device in the house. We’re not going to talk money or strategy in the house,” she said.

Andrew Sorensen, an agent at Raine&Horne Charmhaven, believes it’s a similar story in Australia, stating that “absolutely, without doubt” the practice goes on here.


“If I go back to when I first started out 12 years ago, I was actually tape recorded at an open house by the vendor. I could see the digital equaliser on the cassette tape going up and down by his shoulder as I spoke,” Mr Sorensen told Real Estate Business.

With real estate agents once again ranked at the bottom of the most ‘honest and ethical’ professions, Mr Sorensen said it’s little wonder vendors would be trying to do it.

“If no one trusts you, why wouldn’t they be trying to do it all the time?” he said.

“I know that my listing presentations have been recorded before ... and given to the opposition at various times. I suppose it comes down to an honesty system; if you have to talk to owners you have to be honest with them, if they record you, they record you.

"If you’re in an open house you shouldn’t be saying anything that’s detrimental to your career anyway, if you’re doing the right thing."

Ben Robinson, from Robinson Property in Newcastle, agreed, stating that in the age we live in, with small devices, it’s only a matter of time before the practice is common place.

“As long as you always speak to the vendor about how you’re going to handle things, it shouldn't be a problem," he said.


Have you ever experienced being recorded by a vendor? Let us know about your experience by leaving us a comment.


Beware! Big Brother vendors could be listening to you
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