A lot of real estate reality TV shows air across the nation, but "like most programs billed as 'reality,' they are often misleading, and some are far from reality," says RE/MAX Complete Solutions Broker-Owner Jenniffer Lee.
Lee outlines 10 reality TV show myths:
1. Myth No. 1: Buyers on reality shows are shown three near-perfect homes.
Fact: "In reality, buyers look at many homes before finding the right one," says Lee.
2. Myth No. 2: A home can be completely gutted and redone in 2-4 weeks.
Fact: It can take a long time to totally redo a home due to permit pulling, coordinating different crews and the specific aspects of the job.
3. Myth No. 3: The homes buyers are interested in are still for sale and there is plenty of time to make a decision.
Fact: "Many homes that buyers are interested in are already under contract by the time they go to view them, or they go to contract before the buyer decides to make an offer. If you like a home, act quickly," says Lee.
4. Myth No. 4: Staging a home for sale takes power tools and lots of money for fancy furniture and accessories.
Fact: "You can go a long way towards staging a home by merely cleaning, touching up paint and removing clutter," says Lee.
5. Myth No. 5: Buyers make an offer on the home they want and move in a week later.
Fact: There is much more to the process, including pre-qualification by a lender, inspections, appraisals, escrow and title.
6. Myth No. 6: A house should sell after the first open house.
Fact: Very few homes sell at an open house. "Most sell after multiple independent showings," says Lee.
7. Myth No. 7: The buying process simply revolves around a buyer and a Realtor.
Fact: There are usually many parties involved, including a second Realtor, a lender, an escrow agent or title company, an appraiser and oftentimes an attorney.
8. Myth No. 8: The net from flipping a house is the sales price less the cost of the home repairs and real estate commission.
Fact: There are many other costs involved, including settlement fees for both the purchase and the sale, utilities and other holding costs, property tax and other prorations, doc stamps and transfer taxes, title insurance and other closing costs.
9. Myth No. 9: Any floor plan can be easily altered.
Fact: "Some items in a floor plan are structural and can't be moved easily," says Lee. "It takes an analysis by an architect or engineer to determine if some items can be moved at all."
10. Myth No. 10: Finding the right home is easy and fast.
Fact: "Buyers often look for several weeks and even months to find the right home," says Lee. "A reputable Realtor will skillfully guide you through the process and help you make the right decision."