With smart phones and digital cameras, home buyers are often seen taking pictures of the houses they tour. This is especially true of homes they really like because they want pictures of rooms to recall specific colors, layouts, etc. Buyers may also want more photos than the listing agent took. Regardless, home buyers will frequently bring their cameras to open houses and private showings.
Is it legal? - It is in California but that may change. The topic has been discussed by the California Association of REALTORS. There are listing agents and homeowners who think the practice poses a security risk. Others think it just invades the privacy of the homeowner. As long as the homeowner doesn't object, I permit pictures to be taken.
Here's what I do:
- You're welcome to take pictures at an open house, especially if it's vacant
- I'd like to know why you're taking pictures
- If you're a neighbor looking for decorating ideas - fine
- I'd like to know what you're taking pictures of
Should buyers be allowed to take pictures? Yes, in my opinion. As a buyer, I'd like to think that the pictures you take will put my listing at the top of your mind when you look later. It means you're thinking about the home in more detail than the limited number of pictures a virtual tour or photo collage gives.
What pictures should a buyer be taking?
- Room angles not in the tour or photo collage
- Any exterior shots
- Details of decorating elements of the home
- Any fixtures that stand out as interesting
What pictures should a buyer NOT be taking?
- Personal items of the homeowner
- Close up shots of any personal items
- Anything that might be used to test security
Policies vary from agent to agent and you should ask the agent at the open house for permission before taking any pictures. Agents should have the OK from homeowners before allowing anyone to take pictures at an open house.
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Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022