It all started in 1992 with The Real World on MTV, and it all seemed incredibly real. But at that time – it sort of was. Early reality television shows were achingly earnest and raw. This new type of entertainment seemed to document unscripted, real life situations happening to real people – not actors. In other words, the vibe was completely different than modern reality fare of various Real Housewives and the Kardashians.
Today, most of us know that reality TV is anything but real. But does that stop us from tuning in every week to see who will get sent home on The Bachelor? Not a chance. At Dwell Summit, of course, our channel of choice for unscripted entertainment is HGTV. Oh, and Million Dollar Listing on Bravo. You know how it goes – you settle into the couch with a cozy blanket and a glass of wine and the next thing you know, you’ve watched so many episodes of Fixer Upper you’re convinced you need more space to entertain (and maybe a few goats for the backyard.)
We’ll be the first ones to admit that real estate reality TV shows can be incredibly addicting. However, they don’t exactly give an accurate picture of what the home buying, remodeling and selling processes entail. Here are five shocking truths behind real estate reality TV that will change the way you watch your favorite shows:
Fact: Homebuyers look at more than three houses before purchasing one.
The producers behind House Hunters will lead you to believe otherwise, but most home shoppers look at more than a trio of houses before making a buying decision. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, the average homebuyer tours 10 homes during his or her search.
Fact: The homes you see featured on TV aren’t actually on the market.
Well, not anymore. Most of the homes a buyer will tour on Love it or List it and Fixer Upper are already sold and were simply staged for television. Most likely, the buyers have already purchased a home and are just going through the motions to make the process look realistic. Kind of ruins the magic a little bit, doesn’t it?
Fact: Real estate deals aren’t always so simple
On television, a buyer will make an offer on a house, get a congratulatory call from her real estate agent, and move in within 45 days. Ideally, all sales would go this smoothly. But deals can fall through for a number of reasons. The truth is this: you don’t actually own a house until after the closing – no matter what you’ve seen on Property Brothers.
Fact: Simply having an open house doesn’t guarantee an immediate sale.
We see it all the time on Flip or Flop. Christina and Tarek transform the ugliest house on the block into a stunning property that gets multiple offers after the first open house. Of course, this would be amazing. But is it realistic? Not so much. While open houses are an important part of a marketing strategy, it’s important to realize that most homes are sold during private listing appointments.
Fact: It will take more than five minute to choose your new home.
House Hunters is a perfect example of skewing how long it can actually take to decide on a home. Eliminating houses that don’t align with your budget and preferences can be a lengthy process – especially if you’re already emotionally attached. Keep in mind that the families buying houses on HGTV have already spent hours deliberating their decision, and most (if not all) made their home purchases before being filmed.
We hope we haven’t completely ruined your love affair with HGTV, but we do think it’s important for home buyers and home sellers to realize that real estate reality TV shows don’t provide the most accurate picture of what it’s like to buy, remodel or sell a home. What does give you a truthful outlook, however, is having an experienced real estate agent on your side throughout the process.
If you’re looking to buy a home or sell your home in Breckenridge, please give us a call. At Dwell Summit, we are passionate about sharing the Summit County lifestyle and would be honored to guide you through your transaction.