Is real estate really like how you see it on reality TV shows?


Many consumers and would-be real estate agents have been disappointed, stressed out, and even financially harmed by having real estate reality shows as the basis for their education and belief systems. A lot of people know that what’s on TV isn’t a reflection of reality and use their common sense, but you’d be surprised how quickly common sense can go out the window after a 17-hour binge-session of “Selling Sunset” or “Love It or List It.”

Here are five myths perpetuated by real estate reality TV:

1. Homeowners decide to sell their homes after a five-minute conversation. In reality, those sellers have spent hours, weeks, and months deliberating the decision to list their home and move on with their lives. Some people start having that conversation a year or more before they act on it.

2. If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the open house. The truth is that open houses are sometimes an important marketing tool used to expose your home to buyers in the area, but they’re only a small piece of the overall marketing of your home. In our experience, homes rarely sell as the result of an open house. Instead, they typically sell during regular showing appointments.

“Despite their reality TV label, these shows are just not an accurate representation of what it’s like to buy or sell a home.”

3. Buyers look at three houses and then decide to purchase one of them. Buyers spend hours and even weeks meeting with their agent and mortgage brokers and getting their lives in order. The hunt for homes can start even years in advance. Sometimes buyers fall in love with the first home they see, but statistically, the average homebuyer tours at least 10 homes after looking at hundreds online.

4. The houses that buyers tour on TV are still for sale. Most of what you see on these shows are staged for TV; many of the houses are already sold and off of the market. These shows are scripted and set up months in advance, so you can’t actually buy many of those houses.

5. The buyers haven’t made a decision to purchase yet. The truth is, since there’s no way you can shoot one of these shows in 30 minutes, the TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already selected a home to buy.

The bottom line is that you can go ahead and enjoy watching these shows, but keep in mind that, despite the reality TV label, they’re just not an accurate representation of what it’s like to buy or sell a home.

If you have any questions about buying and selling homes or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.