“Opt-Out” Option for Home Sellers

[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.]

“Seller understands the prospective buyers and others authorized to access the Property may record the Property by photograph, video, or other medium while accessing the property.”

–Standard 2017-2018 Minnesota Listing Contract, lines 51. – 52.

Effective August 1, Minnesota’s standard listing agreement now puts Sellers on notice that prospective Buyers may take pictures or even recordings of their home.

Sellers who are unsettled by that prospect can do which of the following:

A. Strike that language from the listing contract;
B. Instruct their listing agent to include verbiage in the MLS showing instructions prohibiting any recording of their home;
C. Include such language in the “Agent Remarks” section on MLS;
D. Post notices in the home telling prospective Buyers that they may not make recordings (either photo or video).
E. All of the above.

Correct answer:  “E.”

Ubiquitous Smartphones

Although it’s been scarcely a month, I’ve yet to encounter any Sellers who have explicitly opted out of the new, arguably pro-Buyer stance on recording home images.

But, I’m sure it’s coming.

In which case, common sense suggests that the more ways Sellers (and their agents) put Buyers on notice, the likelier they are to deter the practice.

That is, assuming they even know it’s occurring.**

Which is sort of the whole point of adopting a more relaxed stance in the first place . . .

**Minnesota law allows Sellers to record video, but not audio, of their homes without Buyers’ knowledge (the latter practice is allowed only if the person making the audio recording is a party to the conversation).

See also, “Sneak Peak: 2017-2018 Minnesota Real Estate Contract Changes.”

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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