Selling a Home? Know the Laws for This Popular Real Estate Technology

Drone pilot with camera.

The latest trend in real estate photography uses drones for overhead property photos. Elevated shots provide a stunning look at your property and make your home stand out. Drones are now legal in most of the United States as long as operators follow the law, but it’s easy to get in trouble if you aren’t informed. If you’re selling a home, know the laws about this popular real estate technology.

Drones in real estate

Drones are the latest popular real-estate technology. They’re great for getting amazing photos of pools, large properties, and avoiding unsightly obstacles. Get a view of your house over your fence with a drone, or use the unexpected angle to set your property apart from others on the market. Drones are fantastic tools for great real estate photos, but there are laws surrounding them

Since it’s legal to own and operate drones in most states, they’re a great way to capture stunning views of your home. These images really set your property apart from others on the market. If you don’t know how to operate a drone, it’s usually easy to find a drone pilot to help you. However, laws for drones are specific. A photo taken illegally and posted to a real-estate website is easy to identify, and the homeowner is often responsible. Even if you’re just using a drone to get great real estate photos, it’s important to know the laws.

Drone laws

It’s usually ok to operate a drone to take photos of your house, but it’s essential to protect your neighbors’ privacy. Drones don’t require a pilot’s license, but real estate agents who use these devices must maintain a remote pilot certificate. Most real estate photographers want to take photographs in full sunlight anyway, but just in case you wanted a photo of your house lit up at night, it’s illegal to operate a drone after dark.

Hiring a photographer

In most states, hiring a photographer with drone skills is a great idea. Get professional photographs from incredible angles by hiring a professional to get the perfect shot. Look for photographers who collaborate with experienced drone pilots for amazing images. Your home will stand out on real estate websites. Some drones can even take video for an aerial virtual tour of your property.

However, if a real estate photographer offers drone services without knowing the law, walk away. Good pilots know the laws and will answer questions about compliance, so ask before you choose a photographer. A professional won’t break the law to get the photos you want. Protect yourself and your property by knowing the drone laws in your area.


It might be tempting to get an overhead photo of your house with a drone without examining the laws, and many people think they aren’t liable for anything if they hire a pilot but don’t do the work themselves. However, this simply isn’t the case. If a drone injures someone or destroys property while a pilot is working under your supervision, you’re liable for the damage. Pilots that operate illegally typically lack the professional skills required for a safe, legal photograph of your home. The cost of damages and risks of working with a pilot without professional training aren’t worth it. Hire a professional that uses pole aerial photography for a good alternative if laws in your area are too prohibitive.

For most locations in the United States, use a drone to obtain incredible pictures of your property. Just make sure you understand the laws and use alternate methods and technologies to get the perfect photograph. Even if you hire an outside drone pilot, you as their supervisor are still liable for any damage caused by a drone. 

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