Touring a home is critical if you want to ensure the space will meet your needs. However, you have to careful when you visit homes these days, because more and more homeowners are using surveillance cameras and hidden audio recorders to monitor tours and listen in on what buyers are saying about their properties. Here are two things you can do to help protect yourself:

Keep Important Papers Hidden

One important thing you need to do is be careful when pulling out any important papers, such as contracts and anything else containing your personal information. Security cameras can easily capture an image of your documents, which may expose you to the risk of identity theft or put yourself on the bad end of the negotiation table. For instance, if the homeowners can see how much the bank pre-approved you for, they may be less willing to lower the price of the house.

This also applies to watching what you say. Avoid discussing your finances, giving out your credit card or social security information, or even using the phone while touring the home. Instead, wait until you have exited the home—and perhaps even until you get to your car—to talk about important matters. Bring a small notepad and use shorthand to make note of any questions or issues you want to discuss with other people at a later time that you may not want the homeowners to overhear.

Ask for Disclosure

Another thing you can do is have your real estate agent ask the homeowners whether they are making use of surveillance equipment to record the premises. It's important that you have your real estate agent do it, because it may sound suspicious coming directly from you.

However, this will let you decide whether you want to sacrifice your privacy to tour the home. While you can always ask the homeowners to not share any footage of you with others (or on the Internet), it may not be possible to take legal action against them if they go against your wishes and do so anyway. Your best bet in this situation is to determine whether you are being recorded and decide beforehand if you want to take the risk or not to tour the home.

Unfortunately, undercover surveillance is something that's unlikely to go away anytime soon, so take appropriate measures to protect yourself. For more tips to help you with this issue or assistance with finding a home, contact a real estate agent like those at Foxfire Realty, Inc.