Beware of 'spy cams' when house hunting

- These days, many people use Wi-Fi-enabled cameras and recordings inside their homes. Watching what is going while you're not there can provide peace of mind.

"You don't know what's running and what's recording, so you're better to assume that something is than not," New York City Real Estate Broker Gea Elika says.

The principal broker for Elika Real Estate advises potential buyers to keep a poker face.

"That's why I say to them, 'Hold back—just be reserved," he says. "When you walk through an apartment, emotion can work against you."

Nowadays, if you are in the market to buy an apartment or a home, the seller may be watching you and listening to what you say.

"As we walked through the apartment, there was an occurrence where the camera swiveled," Elika says. "At that point, the client became uncomfortable."

By some estimates, 50 million homes will have at least one Wi-Fi-enabled camera in the next five years.

Sellers considering this also need to know that privacy laws vary from state to state.

All this has prompted the National Association of Realtors to remind sellers that, generally speaking, using such cameras and recording devices may be illegal in places where someone—even a potential buyer—has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

So when it comes to "spying" in this way, buyers and sellers should beware.

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