As smart-home technology becomes more prevalent in homes, buyer’s agents should be mindful of where and how they are communicating with their clients during a showing, since these conversations may be picked up via audio or video. Even conversations outside of a property may not be protected as private.

Wes Bearden, attorney and CEO of Bearden Investigative Agency, says courts could look for the following elements to determine whether you had a reasonable expectation of privacy in your public conversation:

  • The volume of the communication or conversation
  • The proximity or potential of other individuals to overhear the conversation
  • The potential for communications to be reported
  • The affirmative actions taken by the speakers to shield their privacy
  • The need for technological enhancements (like a microphone) to hear the communications
  • The place or location of the oral communications as it relates to the subjective expectations of the individuals who are communicating.

Watch Bearden explain more about each of these points, plus other legal considerations related to smart-home technology like doorbells and hidden cameras in this recent Texas REALTORS® legal webinar.