How Real Are Real Estate Reality Shows?

Posted on: 13 February 2015


Real estate reality shows take the viewer behind-the-scenes during the home-buying process, many from establishing a budget to signing on the dotted line. These programs provide useful tips for buying and selling, but also a voyeuristic chance to see properties one might not get otherwise. But just how grounded in reality are these so-called reality shows?

Time Crunch

When buying a home, tasks such as applying for a mortgage, picking a real estate agent, or dealing with a home inspection can take months. On a reality show, everything must be condensed into 22 short minutes. In order to keep an audience engaged, the mundane aspects of home buying are downplayed in favor of more exciting elements such as house shopping. These programs are meant more to entertain than educate. After all, who wouldn't rather compare great rooms as opposed to interest rates?

Done Deal

In many cases, the homes supposedly in the running for purchase aren't even up for sale. In a pinch, friends' digs have been co-opted to be presented as last minute buying alternatives. Additionally, filming doesn't begin on an episode until a deal has closed or is in escrow - just to be on the safe side. Considering how long the actual home-buying process takes and how many things that can go wrong along the way, it makes perfect sense from a practical standpoint.

First Impressions

It's no secret that reality on television and reality in - reality - often diverge. That is abundantly clear watching a real estate showing on TV and attending one in real life. It's truly amazing what great lighting and a set designer can do! Real estate reality shows have, however, taught the average homeowner the power of curb appeal, a fresh coat of paint, and the wisdom of de-cluttering their space before opening their home to potential buyers. And that's really useful in the real world.

Getting There is Half the Fun

Much of the appeal of any reality program is the drama, faux or no. Prima donna brokers engaging in catfights and espionage, squabbling couples heatedly debating everything from light switches to number of bedrooms - if there isn't a certain amount of tension, it just doesn't make for good TV or ratings. Viewers tune in not so much for the end result - the purchase - but for the journey that leads to that conclusion. Everyone wants the happy ending, but they also want the roller-coaster ride of emotions before the new homeowners finally put that hard earned welcome mat out. For a more realistic take on real estate, contact a company like Felte Real Estate for more information.