We’ve all done it; turned on the TV to watch a couple buy their first home, search for a fixer-upper, sell their home, and work their way from renovation nightmare to dream home happy ending. But do you ever sit back to think about what the differences are between reality TV vs. REAL estate?
House Hunting Shows
TV shows are showing you properties that not everyone gets to see. In some cases, they are extravagant and way out of the buyers price range…sometimes the homes won’t even be for sale! This isn’t a realistic depiction of house hunting. In the real world, your REALTOR® will take you to view homes that are within your budget, meet your personalized criteria, and are actually for sale and hot on the market!
Staging Homes vs. Home staging
TV is scripted, so a lot of what you see isn’t really happening. Homes may be staged, just like some sellers stage their homes. The difference? The home on TV might not even be for sale! The purpose of a TV show is to tell a story, and take the viewer on a journey that will wrap up in 22 minutes. (takes longer than you think)
The other thing to note is that not all homes in the real world are staged. If you’re getting ready to go on your first house hunt, don’t expect every home to look prim and proper like they do on the screen. This is real life, with real people, living their real lives in their real home. You may have to use your imagination to picture your family living in the home.
If you’re selling your house, the approach you have to staging your home will depend on the selling strategy you have with your REALTOR®. Connecting with an experienced REALTOR® should be your first step.
Most TV shows are a solid 22 minutes of content. That 22 minutes skews our perceptions of real estate processes. Whether it’s buying, selling, or a renovation, don’t set your expectations based on what you’ve seen on television. And remember, tv shows are always going for the happy ending. In REAL estate there’s a happy ending, but it may not happen as quickly. Realistic real estate transactions include inspections, reaching out to important connections, and negotiation strategies. It takes time!
Your Favourite TV host vs. a Trusted REALTOR®
Often, because of the time restrictions (plus leaving a little room for entertainment value) the process of buying or selling a home on television is really simplified. Don’t let be fooled by this. A real estate transaction is a legally-binding transaction with hundreds of details to consider. Rather than listening your favourite TV host, talk to an experienced REALTOR® about what you can expect from the process.
In the case of home renovation shows, often the host isn’t even involved in the renovations. TV hosts are hired to be a personality and narrate a story, whereas busy worker bees will pull long hours to make the renovations happen behind-the-scenes. In some cases, the quality of these renovations have been revealed…and not in good light. Take a look at this recent story about a couple who were less than impressed with their whirlwind experience.
Your REALTOR® is the best resource you’ll have.
How Reality TV can help?
Real Estate TV shows do offer a small lens into the world of real estate, and for some people, it’s their first look into that world. We’ll give it that. Although it might be a skewed version of the real estate industry and every day processes, these TV shows do expose both buyers and sellers to a few insights.
For example, sellers can learn that putting some effort into fixing their home up before it hits the market can really help. Decluttering and a fresh coat of paint can make quite a difference.
Buyers will learn the concept of making a wish list; a list of all the ideal features they’d like their home to have. This is a great way for buyers to work through what they really want, rather than walking aimlessly through homes, which can be overwhelming.
Why REAL estate is better than Reality TV
The main benefit of living in the REAL estate world rather than the Reality TV world is that it’s your world. In the real world, you can speak with a REALTOR® about your unique situation and you are 100% a part of the decision-making process. But most importantly, you’re not gazing into the foyer of a staged home setup by a TV crew. You will be able to sit back comfortably in your own home where you can make memories and personalize your real estate experience.