Reality show may be entertaining, but in most cases, they hardly classify as “reality.” Even the shows that seem like they should be pretty straightforward like many of our real estate favorites they are not entirely based on truth. If you want to watch the shows just to be entertained, that is fine. But, if you think your home buying experience will go a certain way based on what you see on TV, you will be very disappointed. The true reality of these popular shows is in the myths that they have created in the minds of their audience. We have highlighted four of these myths and clearly define what is reality, and what is not.
Myth #1: You Only Need to See Three Houses
Every real estate reality tv show highlights the house hunters buying one of the three houses they look at. It looks so easy, right? The truth is, you could look at twenty houses without finding one you like. cases, you could find a home you absolutely love and not have your offer accepted, taking you back to square one.
Sorry to ruin your fun, but on most real estate reality shows, the house hunters have already purchased one of the homes they show. On “Fixer Upper” they are given two other options to add drama or fill air-time, the home you see them “choose” is a home they already own. The same is true for “House Hunters” and likely any other reality show you may watch.
Myth #2: Houses Sell at the Open House
The open house myth is an especially prevalent story line on fix and flip shows like “Fixer Upper.” Something always goes wrong at the last minute and puts the open house is jeopardy. First, rescheduling an open house is really easy. Second, most homes do not sell at an open house. In fact, it is extremely unlikely that a house will sell at an open house. The huge crowds of people you see on tv coming through an open house are also unlikely. The open house on the TV show is a great way to highlight the before and after progress, but not an end all when it comes to selling your house.
Myth #3: Once an Offer is Accepted, You Can Move In
We’ve seen the scenes where the real estate agent meets their client at the coffee shop. The client decides to make an offer on one of the three homes they saw and the real estate agent runs off to make some calls. After a watching the client nervously sip their coffee for about 30 seconds, the real estate agent comes back with a smile and the keys to said house and they all celebrate.
In real life it is not that easy. Not even close. It usually takes at least 30 days from the time you make the offer to when you move in. You will have inspections and an appraisal. You will have to submit tax returns, bank statements and pay stubs to your lender before getting final loan approval. Then you will sign documents, lots of documents before finally being handed the keys and moving your belongings into the home.
Myth #4: You Can Offer WAY Under the Asking Price
It is not unusual to see the buyer decide to offer tens of thousands of dollars less than the asking price of a home and have their offer accepted on a reality show. In real life, you may not be able to do the same. The amount you offer depends on many factors like the selling price on comparable properties and the current market conditions. If you are trying to purchase a home in a strong sellers market, you will be laughed at if you try to throw a low-ball offer at a seller.
Bottom line is, your real estate agent should educate you on the market conditions and help you strategize how much you’d like to offer. Again, just because the Property Brothers were able to get someone into a home for $50,000 less than the seller was asking, does not mean that you will have the same outcome.
While real estate reality shows are fun to watch, just keep in mind they are for entertainment purposes. When you are out looking for homes to buy, rely on what your real estate agent tells you, not what you think you know based on a tv show. Your real estate agent has real life experience in the current market and will guide you through the home buying process.