Are you breaking the law every time you allow a showing on your listing?
Real Estate Showings & The North Carolina Recording Laws
In real estate, whether you are conducting a showing of a property, or conducting an open house, the seller must adhere to the North Carolina recording laws. For example, the use of audio and video equipment being turned “on” during showings could be a potential legal problem for a seller. In recent years, listing agents more frequently get asked whether sellers can keep audio or video equipment “on” while their property is being shown. This is a fair question because sellers would like to always protect their property from theft and damage. However, there are Federal and State laws put in place to protect an individual’s right to privacy.
The North Carolina Audio Recording Laws
North Carolina has recording laws which are complex issues because the law varies from state to state. North Carolina is considered a One-Party Consent State, which means that at least one person involved in the recorded communication must give permission or consent. Therefore, in North Carolina, you may record a conversation or phone call if you are a party to the conversation, or you get permission from one party to the conversation in advance. (Digital Media Law Project).
Under North Carolina law, it a crime to intercept or record any “wire, oral, or electronic communication” unless one party to the conversation consents. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-287). Moreover, this type of violation is a Class H felony. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-287(a)). North Carolina allows for a person, whose communication was intercepted, to sue the wrongdoer and get $100 per day for the violation, punitive damages, litigation costs, and attorney’s fees. (North Carolina Real Estate Commission, Frederick A. Moreno, Deputy Legal Counsel). Therefore, when conducting a showing of a property, or an open house, it is illegal to audio record a conversation that you are not a part of without first getting that person’s consent.
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