Reality TV Shows vs. Reality in the Real Estate World

by on January 2, 2014RealEstate.com Guest Contributor

Reality TV shows can be fun and entertaining. Unfortunately, when it comes to the “real world” of buying real estate, most reality TV shows are anything but “real.” As a homebuyer or investor, it’s important to realize the true reality of the real estate world. To help with this, Jensen and Company, a local real estate brokerage in Park City, Utah, created the following infographic to show these differences.

Infographic on how real estate reality TV shows can be separated from reality


Reality TV Myths and Real-World Facts

MYTH: Homebuyers only look at three homes before they make a purchase decision. REALITY: Most homebuyers look at many more than three homes.

MYTH: The homes being chosen from on TV are still for sale. REALITY: Most homes that homebuyers look at on reality TV shows are already sold and off the market.

MYTH: The homebuyer has not made a purchase decision. REALITY: The home-buying process is quite lengthy, so TV shows choose homebuyers who have already chosen the home they want in order to simplify the process.

MYTH: Real estate agents regularly make six-figure commissions. REALITY: TV doesn’t explain that the listing agent and buyer’s agent split the commission 50-50, split it again with their brokerage, and also pay marketing costs.

MYTH: When you flip a home, your only expenses while you own the home are the price you bought it for and repairs. REALITY: Real estate investors also need to take taxes, insurance, utilities, interest, closing costs and commissions into account.

MYTH: You need professional help, experience and power tools to stage a home on a budget. REALITY: There are many things that sellers can do to make their houses more presentable. These include decluttering, putting overly large furniture into storage, and doing a decent paint job themselves.

MYTH: The house should sell at the open house. REALITY: Most homes sell after a scheduled showing.

The “Real” Reality of the Real Estate World

Home buying and selling takes time. Don’t rush the home-buying process or you won’t find the home you’re ultimately looking for.

Don’t forget about taxes and insurance. These can add a significant amount to your monthly housing expenses, on top of mortgage payments and utility bills.

Don’t forget to budget. Reality TV shows pay lip service to budgets but don’t show how to create them.

Make sure you find a good real estate agent. These real estate professionals help you understand the “reality” of your market through competitive market analyses (CMAs) and their years of experience in the industry.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasha Stevens April 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Yes, agree with the info 100% I am working with buyers currently, some of whom have looked at over 30 homes and still haven’t found “the one”. Of course, not everyone fits the curve. My husband and I probably only looked at 4 or 5 and we only seriously looked at the one we ended up purchasing. Really good tips here for new agents and for home-sellers.

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Andrew Fortune February 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Great post. My favorite tip is the extra expenses that investors take on when flipping homes. My wife and I flip one or two homes every year (actually working one now as I type this on my phone) for extra income. The television shows about flipping homes are completely different from the reality of the business in many ways.

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Peggy January 14, 2014 at 10:54 am

This is important information for potential home buyers! Very informative and need to know. Thanks for the cute graphic spelling it all out:)

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Michael January 8, 2014 at 11:43 am

I love this infographic, it’s funny when people are looking to buy or sell a home and they expect it to be exactly like a TV show.

I wonder if they go to the supermarket and sweep all of the groceries into their carts to see how much they can ring up in 90 seconds, too?

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