The Homeowner-Spy

[Editor’s Note:  The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

RECORDING ON THE PROPERTY:  Seller understands that MN Statute 626A.02 specifically prohibits the interception of oral communications without the consent of at least one of the two parties to the communication.  Seller should seek appropriate legal advice regarding compliance with this statute if Seller intends to utilize technology that may intercept oral communications between persons other than the Seller.

–Minnesota “Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Contract”; lines 53. – 56.

At least in Minnesota, it’s a crime to intercept a conversation without the permission of at least one party to the conversation.

So, no, unless Sellers want to tell Buyers they’re being listened to — which sort of defeats the purpose — it’s not kosher to eavesdrop.

Just to make sure Sellers are clear, however, the newly revised Minnesota listing agreement (above) adds language explicitly warning Sellers about this practice.

Effective date:  today (August 1).

P.S.: Notwithstanding any of the above, I’ve long counseled Buyers doing showings with me to save any private comments for later.

See also, “Smile! You’re On Candid Camera!”; “Do the Walls Have Ears? Maybe, If They’re in a “For Sale” Home“; and “Shadowing the Buyer and Their Agent.”

Plus: “Sneak Peak: 2017-2018 Minnesota Real Estate Contract Changes“; “Home Thermostat as Trojan Horse”; and “Housing’s “Nest” Big Thing?”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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