Monday, March 16, 2015

What Real Estate Shows Does a Realtor Watch?

I was watching House Hunters yesterday after Property Brothers was over. It peaked my interest because this couple was looking in DFW and I wanted to see if I recognized any of the neighborhoods. House Hunters is probably one of my least favorite shows as a Realtor, and this episode really told me why. This couple was looking for a "craftsman" style house, even though none of the houses they were shown were "craftsman" style. I'm not even 100% sure that this 21 year old couple even knew what a craftsman style house was; I am convinced the producers just tell the people to say these things to add interest to the episodes. The first house they saw was a new build in McKinney. The second was in Mesquite and the third was in Plano. Anyone from DFW should know where I am going with did they get from McKinney/Plano to seeing a house in Mesquite?

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This show is very unrealistic, specifically because looking for houses is nothing like this. First of all, you don't get three options of a house and are then asked to choose between them. As a Realtor, we could look at 20 or more houses over a period of months before we find the right house, in the right area, for the right price. I feel like this show puts unrealistic expectations on the home buying process. Another thing that bothered me about this particular episode is that they showed the price of house they were looking for to be between $200,000 and $250,000. $50,000 is a huge gap. As a homebuyer, knowing what you want and what your actual budget would be is very important, along with having realistic expectations of what your money would get you.
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I do think Property Brothers does a very good job of going through the process, especially some of the more recent episodes. Jonathan and Drew hear what the homebuyers want, they do what they are asked, but they also set realistic expectations for their buyers. It shows them walking in and walking right back out of several houses before deciding on a couple they like. It shows them discussing price points, what they can negotiate, and asks the buyers to look outside of their "must haves" and compromise some things to get better things. I also love that despite how awesome of a Realtor Drew is, it doesn't mean that every offer is accepted and he is not always able to get a deal done with what a couple might offer, no matter how well he can negotiate. He is also well aware of what other houses have gone for in the area and makes sure his clients don't pay more than what they should for a particular property by factoring in what the house is worth and what it would be worth after a full scale renovation.
I love watching rehab shows and I love the idea of fixing up a house. However, as a Realtor, it always irks me that none of these shows mention property value and appraisal value when it comes to fixing up a property. Sure, finding a house that is a "fixer upper" might seem like a really great idea, but it's only a great idea in the right type of neighborhood. For example, if you find a house in DFW for $100,000 and the other houses in the neighborhood are around that same price, investing $50,000 or more to fix it up the way you'd like it seems like a wonderful idea. But when it comes to selling it, there is a good chance you might not get your investment back. This is why having a Realtor guide you through wise opportunities is important.

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With all of that said, it doesn't mean I don't love watching these shows. Even as a professional in the real estate field, I can see potential in every home I look at, but I love getting lost in these shows that exhibit miraculous changes that I couldn't even fathom. Property Brothers is one of my favorites. The other show I am loving right now is Rehab Addict, only because her priority is to bring older homes back to their former glory and loves seeing large scale homes that are falling apart be transformed into modern versions of themselves. Her ideas for shopping and restoring old homes are very interesting to watch. I probably love it because I live in an older estate and have given a lot of thought to how much character to keep and how much is just plain tacky. (My house has many crystal light fixtures, brass doorknobs, and 60's style embellishments, some I love and some I can't wait to get rid of).

What are your favorite real estate shows right now?

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