5 Ways Your Favorite Real Estate Reality Show Is Anything But Reality

  • 2 months ago
  • 1

It’s hard not to get glued to the 30-minute drama of some of today’s property-buying-flipping-loving-and-listing lineup of real estate reality TV shows. After all, they are pretty entertaining.

And, that’s the point. These shows are simply entertainment. But if you log too many hours watching reality TV versions of real estate, you may start to get a skewed idea of what it’s really like to buy a home.

Here are reminders of five false depictions commonly seen on today’s real estate reality shows:

1. Most buyers in their 20s and 30s are buying luxury homes. To watch reality TV shows, you might start to think your buying power is strangely inferior. But the fact is, most young people begin with starter homes. While first-time homebuyers may have visions of that six-bedroom luxury home, most will begin home ownership with something more modest.

The reality: Keep your expectations in line with your budget.

2. Buyers look at three properties, then make their choice. There isn’t any magic number of homes you will need to view before finding “the one.” That being said, don’t be surprised if it’s more than three. Some people do experience love at first sight when it comes to buying their home, but others will look at dozens.

The reality: You can look at too few homes just as easily as you can look at too many—but there’s no magic number. Stay realistic. If a home marks off nearly everything on your to-do list, you may lose it if you decide you want to keep looking because you envision the perfect home.

3. Every property will be pristine. Other than flip shows, most properties are perfectly staged, impeccably clean and completely devoid of clutter. Often, the condition of the property will depend on the seller’s budget and whether they heeded their real estate agent’s advice.

The reality: Don’t get hung up on cosmetic problems or a seller’s questionable taste in décor. Pay attention to the bigger issues. As your agent, I can help you identify what those are.

4. Renovations are a snap. Have you ever watched a reality real estate show and the buyers ended up purchasing a home that needs the kitchen renovated, the master bathroom updated and new flooring? Flash forward and they show the happy couple a few weeks later, happily enjoying their newly updated home. Strangely, they never mention the cost sending them way over budget. So, if you find a home that needs updating, renovations aren’t a big deal, right?

The reality: While you shouldn’t be afraid of a home that needs some updating—you may even get a bargain—be sure you understand what you are taking on. Get costs estimates, if possible, and be prepared for more than just a few days of chaos once the project begins. Also, don’t think you’ll save money by doing renovations yourself unless you have the skills and experience.

5. All real estate agents do is open the door. On reality TV, the real estate agent is incidental under most scenarios. They basically show up at (each of the three) properties, let the buyers in and wax poetic about the home.

The reality: As your agent, I would research properties, provide you with market analyses of homes you’re interested in, communicate with the seller’s agent, negotiate the contract, ensure all the paperwork was legal and filed properly, help arrange for an appraisal and home inspection, review the results of inspections with you and recommend a response, communicate with your lender and closing attorney to ensure they have all they need—and more.

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