What are the good and bad things about Real Estate TV?

realtor vs realtor on real estate TVWhat are the good and bad things about Real Estate TV? 

We don’t watch very much TV. We cut the cord early. In fact, we never were much of a TV watching family. We had an advantage that few people enjoy to help us not get hooked on TV – We didn’t pay for it.

Here’s what happened:

When we moved into our Waterloo home 12 years ago, I get a phone call from one of the cable companies. They said, “Would you like half-priced cable TV for two months?”.

“Sure”, said I. We had just returned from living ten years in Asia. I was experiencing reverse culture shock. I should have cable. We will know what our friends and neighbours are talking about. (Survivor and Big Brother is what they were talking about).

After two months, I called up the cable service provider and said, “OK, thanks but I don’t want it.” I felt that our wasn’t missing much after all.  (Survivor was pretty good. Big brother was stupid).

They stopped billing us for cable but the feed still came into the house. Now we had cable but we weren’t paying for it. Dreamy.

Anyone who has ever dealt with internet service providers, telephone service providers, cell phone service providers or cable TV service providers knows how difficult it is to reach them by telephone with a complaint and how satisfying that experience is (not). Truth be told, I didn’t bother to call. I thought the truck would be around to cut the cable in a few days. It never happened. We had free cable for eight years.

But this is the good part. Because we weren’t paying for it, we didn’t feel we had to watch it. We kept the cable unplugged. We’d plug it in maybe over the christmas holidays, or during the olympics but we never really became TV watchers.

Long story. But one of triumph over the cable company.

Bow, bow. A round of applause. Bow. Please share in my joy.

Real Estate TV Shows

There are a lot of TV shows about real estate. I don’t watch enough TV to comment too much about these. I know that they are fake. But there are also things to be learned. Here are some of the most popular real estate shows:

Flip this house

House Hunters

Moving Up

Bought & Sold

Designed to Sell

My House is Worth What?

My First House

Extreme Makeover

Secrets that Sell

Weekend Warriors

Get it sold


The good things about real estate TV


For homebuyers

For homebuyers, one of the good things about watching real estate TV shows is that it helps them focus on what’s important to them. I often say that buying a house is a process of elimination (with a final compromise at the end). Watching real estate TV helps ferret out the needs and wants of the homebuyer.


Educating the home seller

For home sellers, real estate TV has introduced new developments in how to sell a home. Tips about home staging and decluttering are great as well as real estate concepts about how to price correctly.


The bad thing about real estate TV

For the homebuyer, one of the bad things about real estate TV is that TV glosses over a lot of the details. As a result, the home buying process is harder and certainly slower than it appears on TV.

Another thing is that it raises the expectation of the buyers. The wants and needs may be out of the financial wherewithal of the home buyers. They may expect granite countertops and maple floors but not be able to get those things in their price range. We call this “having champagne tastes on a beer budget”.



TV loves drama. I think the real estate TV shows tend to give both home buyers and home sellers an overly dramatic approach to negotiation.

Words and phrases like “lowball offer”, and “take it or my buyers walk” are not usually helpful to successful negations.



Generally speaking, I think TV is a lot of fluff.

The investing/house flipping shows are mostly unrealistic in terms of what most homeowners are capable of doing. The shows often make it look cheap and easy. Home Depot’s motto “You can do it. We can help”, should more accurately be, “You can’t do it. We can’t help”. But maybe that’s just my own experience.

The staging shows, I like. Rule #283 in my 365 Rules about Real Estate book is: “Make you home easy to buy”. Staging certainly does help. However, caution should be used in terms of budget. If you spend $1000 landscaping the front of your house, you probably won’t get all of that money back. Your house will likely sell more quickly though.


Source: Inman news


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