Real Estate Television Shows

So, since a tornado all but insisted I buy a new home, I've been obsessed with all of the shows about real estate and housing in general. I really like Property Brothers where one of the twins is dressed in suit and tie and shows the nice people a home with their long list of desires but which is usually considerable out of their budget as a reality check. He then shows them a couple of houses that "could" be their dream home. Then his brother in flannel (with guylights, no less) swoops in with design software and shows them how he can make the homes IDEAL with renovation. Then they pick one and get started.

I also like the shows like House Hunters where the realtor shows three houses and the buyer selects one.

I guess the basis of my discussion is do you professionals ever watch these shows? What do you think of them? Do you think they color consumer's perceptions in a good way? bad way? totally indifferent?


Just curious....
  • December 22 2011 - Sapulpa
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Answers (15)

I watch them. Not religiously or anything. Just when there's nothing else. I don't know if I qualify as a professional.

The "Property Brothers" is an interesting concept. It's like "Flip This House" except with the Buyer's money, and no sales acrobatics. I think it is highly edited to remove 96% of the headaches experienced. I wonder if they use Renovation financing or if those people actually have the extra cash for the work. Or, if the show pays for most of it, so they can have a show.

BTW it took me about five minutes to figure out what "guylights" are. That's funny. There are some light loafers on that show.

The "House Hunters" lady makes me want to throttle someone. I can barely watch her. She walks the ethical fence a lot. She also is too passive aggressive for my taste. I wouldn't want her as an Agent.

I like the "Selling LA" and "Selling New York" series', for the sensational absurdity of the business that they expose. And the one that takes, or took, the cake is "Million Dollar Listing". Those are the douchiest people I've ever seen. I'd rather have my toenails pulled out than spend a millisecond with any of them, except the female cohort/assistant.

I also watch "Million Dollar Contractor", "Brothers on Call", "Holmes Inspection", "Flip Men", "Flipping Out", and "Kitchen Cousins".

I think the home improvement themed ones are pretty good at casting positive light on that part of the business. The purely flip one's are a little dubious.

The REA based one's are all cringe-worthy. But, there's hardly any way to make this business look attractive. It's tedious as all get out.

This is a good topic, Cindy. I'd like to add, that I think all the media involvement in RE helped greatly exacerbate the bubble, and the bust. Just my practitioner's opinion.
  • December 22 2011
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'House Hunters' is the true essence of 'reality' television. In other words, it's a sham.

The 'buyers' are home buyers who have already put a home under contract and / or already closed on a home. They're given two comparable properties to view but in reality they have already bought one of the three homes. The trick is watching their expressions to guess which house they have already bought.

And yes, their expressions are 'coached' by the production team on the show.

While it's understandable that with the constraints of television, the producers need to follow this formula, it's still a bending of the truth.
  • December 22 2011
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Well, we don't watch House Hunters much anymore since hubby noticed the wife always gets her way. He thinks it's a bad influence on me...
  • December 22 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
I find it interesting to watch shows from a  few years ago and see the realtors show how the (very high) prices are all you can get. There was never a wait to buy this bubble will pop anywhere on any of those shows.

I saw one show where a young couple wanted to buy a house. The realtor explained they could not buy one with their income level. They could however buy a double-wide.

The couple then paid to have a (title search?) done only to find out that the trailer did not belong to the land it was on. The listing agent and the buyers agent never bothered to go to the town office to see if the lot and trailer had the same owner. The young couple had to pay money for being lied to.

The couple decided that they could afford the crappy double-wide if they ate mac & cheese and hotdogs often. The agent never suggested they were to tight financially. I wonder if a repo has happened for a majority of the places sold on these shows during the bubble. I would also like to know how the buyers feel about losing so much money by buying then.

Those shows cast a bad light on the real estate industry if you look at them honestly.
  • December 22 2011
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I love the show, I think its called "Moving Up", where people buy a house and redecorate/remodel to their tastes and then watch the reactions of the previous owners when they are shown the redo.

It fascinates me on so many levels-  the emotions involved when the sellers talk about what they love about their old house and can't imagine the buyers would ever change it, just to see them grapple with the buyers doing just that.
  • December 22 2011
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That is a good one, Joan.

The new one 'Love It, or List It" is similarly interesting, to a practitioner, maybe not so much, to the public.
  • December 22 2011
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"House Hunters" is incredibly deceiving. I would never show a client just 3 homes and make them choose one. It is up to the client. But she does portray that most homes can meet certain criteria, but never all of your criteria and this "compromising" aspect will make clients see what is a priority in their home.

A lot of "Selling New York" on the other hand is pretty accurate. I was an agent in New York and you will go to extravagant over the top open houses on the regular. You will also see gorgeous places with amazing architectural design. Believe it or not, there are a lot of "Old Timer" agents (as I like to call them) that run their business in the same manner as the people on this show!
  • December 22 2011
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It does irritate me a bit about Property Brothers because they never explain how the money end of it happens. I'm sure it's because of the state of the market, but viirtually every property we look at NEEDS expensive updates and or repairs. We have some money (at least 20% of purchase price), but planned to use it for down payments and closing. I wonder how folks buy the property and then also find $50,000 for renovations?

It's a great concept, but it doesn't seem as if there is much financing for this out there. I'm guessing you could borrow in other ways then do a refinance?

  • December 22 2011
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Hamp............. is the gal you can't stand to watch the gal  on Property Virgins??
House Hunters has different agents depending on where they are.....I love House Hunters International! Amazing what homes cost in different countries...ad the lack of certain amenities we take for grantd, even in expensive homes.

Back to Property Vrigins the agent annoys me, They had her flying all over the country (she is from Canada) giving advice on what to pay and where to buy, like she actually knows the different areas.
How realistic (not)  to be a so-called expert in FL, CA and Tx, etc.........and be licensed in, and from  Canada!

I do think that show oversimplifies the buying process and gives a false impression of what goes on. I love when she showed a short sale....she said , "Oh, they can take a " bit"  longer to close"..........really Sherlock, you don't say - pretty astute of you to notice1

I get a kick out of the show Selling NY, as I used to be very good friends (when he lived in NJ)  with one of the featured agents (won't say which one)..........only that ...he hasn't changed a bit!!
I watch the show to see the fabulous apts........most of which don't  even sell during the course of the show..or maybe ever!

And Mike - yes, I also read how they choreograph that show - it is a total sham, but fun to watch......I laugh when I see the couple is straining to say something nice about a  house they clearly don't like, but it's a moot point as they already bought and moved into their home..
  • December 22 2011
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Yes, Debbie Rose the lady that irks me so bad is the deflowerer of first time Homebuyers. Thanks for reminding me. I oft wondered if she obtained licenses in all those states.
  • December 23 2011
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Deflowering of the property virgins! Bwahahaha, that is way better than my guylights!

I keep thinking about Property Brothers and wondering if it is a business angle that anyone is working. Again, with so many distressed houses on the market we see so many places that need work.
  • December 24 2011
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Profile picture for PukonYukon
never watched them but what irks me is the endless commercial for selling your home to some popular investors in our state and then the goofy comments out of place at the end of the commercial about taking care of your dog.   it's reminiscent of linda sountrak only I didn't mind doing business there many moons ago.  those investors and their court history would concern me greatly. Do  you see those commercials in Sapula too-think they are all over this state.  you know..the ones where she holds up two fingers to go with saying 1-800 "to" but her timing is so bad she holds them us as she says "one"
  • December 27 2011
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Profile picture for ConnieK_ppm

agree with Debbie,  all of those shows oversimply the process.
however, if I can suffer through an entire episode of any of them, I have talked to the TV a LOT and attempted to tell them how it really is (like they can hear me and would even care if they could)  
of course I do that with gold rush, ice road truckers and so on...those aren't any more realistic than housing shows and I don't get to change the channel when those are on- I have to leave the room and find something else to do.

  • December 27 2011
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I like them. They're television shows, they're not documentaries. They're produced from somebody else's point of view, of course they don't represent the way we practice real estate.

I bet that most chefs feel the same way about cooking shows, that most doctors feel the same way about hospital shows, that singles and young marrieds feel the same way about sitcoms!

Speaking of cooking shows - notice how the content is all about fantastic groceries lovingly prepared, and the commercials are all for processed foods and diet products?!
  • December 28 2011
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I really liked Real Estate Intervention.  It was based primarily out of the Washington DC market in Maryland and VA.  The main agent was Mike Aubry and was very realistic in his approach to get sellers understand the downturn in the market and get them to face the hard truth about their own properties. My wife could not believe some of the stuff we, as agents have to deal with on a daily basis.
  • December 28 2011
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