What Real Estate TV Shows Won’t Tell You

  • Bonnie Spindler
  • 05/1/15

For Entertainment Only

With anywhere from 50-100 different real estate TV shows on many different channels to choose from, there’s a different show to suit anyone’s taste and interests. From bathroom remodeling shows, to international house hunting, to design shows, to yard renovations, there is a show for everything. While these shows are great for getting design ideas and helping you decide what you want in a home, they aren’t the most realistic representations of the real estate industry.
 

What the Real Estate TV Shows Don’t Show You

While some of what you’ll see on TV mirrors what happens in real life, the shows are very idealized, toned-down versions of what really goes on in the real estate industry. Not to discourage you—but to paint a more realistic picture of what to expect—here are some aspects of the real estate industry that your favorite TV shows won’t show you:
 

The process takes a long time.

Whether you’re renovating, buying a house, or selling a house, it will likely take a lot longer than you’ll see on TV. Unless you have a crew of 20 people working around the clock, your complete kitchen remodel is going to take longer than one weekend.
The same goes for buying or selling. On TV, once a buyer selects a house, you’ll often see them make an offer right then and there, and the next thing you know, they’re all moved in. In reality, the entire home buying process, from selecting a house to moving in, may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
 

You can over-renovate.

When you’re getting your home ready to sell, a little can go a long way. It’s often better to stick with simple fixes that will help you see a larger return when you sell. Skip the extensive remodels and just be sure that everything is clean and in good working condition. A fresh paint job or a new front door can go a long way.
 

Choosing a home is not always as simple as on TV.

On TV, you’ll see a home buyer consider three potential houses and then choose the right one from those three. While some home buyers may only look at three different homes, a majority of home buyers will look at many, many more. Before these shows are filmed, most of the buyers have already chosen and/or bought one of the homes in question. Since they’ve already done their research and viewed homes before the show is filmed, the process seems much simpler than it often is.
 

There are more expenses involved than you see on TV.

On various real estate shows, you’ll see buyers contemplating the cost of a home and the cost of repairs, but nothing else. In reality, there are other costs to consider, including taxes, utilities, interest, insurance, commissions, and closing costs.
 

Reality vs “Reality”

Real estate TV shows get the real estate industry right in some aspects, while glamorizing other aspects beyond belief. Why are home remodels and house hunting shows portrayed so inaccurately? Entertainment value. If they showed how difficult or lengthy some of these processes could be, no one would want to buy, sell, or remodel a home.
 
While the processes are not as they appear on TV, the rewards are real. There’s nothing like the excitement of finding the perfect home, getting your first offer on a home, or finishing a remodel and being thrilled with the results. Just remember to take these shows with a grain of salt, understanding that they are made purely for entertainment value.
 
With the help of one of San Francisco’s top real estate agents, these processes can be made almost as easy as they appear on TV. 


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