Do real estate based reality TV shows give us a clear picture what home buying and selling is like? Maybe not.
Networks like HGTV are amazing for home decorating ideas and do-it-yourself demos. They also try to give you a sneak peak into the buying and selling of real estate.
The problem is…
What actually takes place is not that interesting to watch. I found this infographic from Jensen and Company to illustrate the differences between real estate myths and real life.
(Zoom In CTRL+ Out CTRL-)
Real Estate Myths Perpetuated By Reality TV
Real Estate Myth: Buyers always look at three homes before making a decision.
Truth: The Internet is a fantastic place to look at homes. You can access most of the homes in an area without paying a dime or leaving your house. There is no magic number, but if there were, it would be a lot more than three.
According to a 2014 study on Realtor.org, buyers viewed 10 houses on average before making a decision.
Real Estate Myth: Homes shown to people on TV are still for sale.
Truth: Most of the homes have already been sold or are off the market by the time the show airs. Reality isn’t always shown to us in real time. In fact, it usually isn’t.
Real Estate Myth: Homebuyers are just starting the purchase process and have not made a purchase decision before starring on the show.
Truth: The home buying process takes time and can’t be completed in 60 minutes. Participants are screened for being in the later stages of the home buying process.
Most buyers take 10 weeks, on average, of research time before making a purchase, according to Realtor.org.
Real Estate Myth: Real estate agents make six figure commissions all the time.
Truth: TV doesn’t break down where parts of a commission go. Buyer agents and seller agents typically split the total commission. Fees from the agents’ brokerage and any advertising costs are also subtracted from the total.
The buyer agent commission in the United States can range from 2% to 6%. Considering the median home price in the United States is around $188,900, agents often walk away with $3,500 to $5,667 for the transaction. Learn why you need a realtor.
Real Estate Myth: You need tons of help and tools to stage a home on a budget.
Truth: There are several inexpensive fixes to help you stage your home. Some fresh paint and de-cluttering alongside some basic landscaping can help you sell your home quicker.
Real Estate Myth: When you flip a home, the only costs are the home’s purchase price and refurbishing costs.
Truth: Any decent real estate investor has to take into account taxes, utilities, insurance, loan interest, closing costs, commissions and advertising.
Real Estate Myth: The house should sell during the first open house.
Truth: Homes can sell after the first open house, but this is not the norm. Most homes sell after an agent scheduled showing.
Home buyers can view more properties online, complete with photos and market analysis reports. This is leading to fewer open houses. Discuss the options for an open house with your agent. Some real estate markets thrive on open houses, and other don’t.
The next time you watch a real estate reality TV show, remember… it is entertainment. In the real world your, Realtor should help guide your process. And yes, it takes longer than 60 minutes minus commercials!