do not get caught on camera homebuying

Buying a Home With a Video Camera on the Doorbell

When showing a home to buyers, approaching a home that sports a video camera on the doorbell is asking for trouble if you’re not careful. Buyers might not even notice the camera, so it is up to the buyer’s agent to have that conversation before coming close enough to the house to be recorded. It is very common nowadays to discover a video camera on the door bell.

When I listed a house in Natomas with the video camera, I asked the seller if it was working because it did not chime when I pressed the button. Sure enough, she had the original Ring Doorbell. Those batteries don’t last very long and their range of motion is such that it uses more energy than is necessary. But buyers should act as though all the video cameras on the doorbell work.

At our house in Hawaii, I had installed the Ring doorbell, and the battery issue was always pressing. Such a hassle to remove and charge. I thought I had solved it by installing a solar panel, but that did not charge the battery. You know why? Because the Ring Doorbell was not in the sun. Duh! Double duh! It needs full sun to charge a solar panel. Period sun or filtered sunlight won’t cut it. So I bought the upgraded version, the Video Ring Doorbell 2. Plus I bought an extra rechargeable battery for it, and so far that’s been working great.

Worked so great that when I looked at my Ring app the other day because it notified me when I was the gym, I saw a police officer standing there. Uh, oh, busted, what the hell have I done now? Turns out he wanted to know if I had a video of an intruder who broke into my neighbor’s unlocked car.

It picks up the sound of anybody approaching the house. When I listed another home in West Sacramento, the seller had a blast sitting back in his office chair and playing his videos of buyers. Buyers who gushed and oohed and ahhed over the house. At least they were saying complimentary things. Which is better than, Oh, my gawd, look at the flooring, absolutely atrocious.

Good thing none of those types wrote an offer because it would prejudice the seller. Sellers do not want to hear their house is a piece of crap and their decorating taste sucks.

Many sellers have security systems with cameras that record sound and movement inside the house as well. Don’t assume that you are not being watched. In fact, assume that you are.

Try not to linger outside of the house in full view of the video camera on the doorbell, too. Smart technology is everywhere, and everybody is listening. Even the television could be recording you.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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